Maria Elena Durazo

Board Chair; Vice President for Immigration, Civil Rights & Diversity, UNITE-HERE

Maria Elena Durazo is the Vice President for Immigration, Civil Rights & Diversity for UNITE-HERE. She was elected to serve as Executive Secretary-Treasurer of the Los Angeles County Federation of Labor, AFL-CIO in 2006. Before leading the Federation, Maria Elena was elected as President and built the hotel workers union UNITE-HERE, Local 11, into one of the most active unions in Los Angeles County. Her hard work led her to become the first Latina elected to the Executive Board of HERE International Union in 1996 and eventually in 2004, she became Executive Vice President of UNITE-HERE International. In 2003, Maria Elena became National Director of the Immigrant Workers’ Freedom Ride, a national mobilization campaign initiated by HERE International to address the nation’s immigration laws. Maria Elena also had the great honor of serving as Vice Chair to the 2008 Democratic National Convention Committee and as a National Co-Chair for Senator Barrack Obama’s Presidential Campaign.

Maria Elena serves as an Executive Vice-President of the national AFL-CIO Executive Council where she is the only leader of an area Central Labor Council in the nation. She is the Chair of the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy, Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s appointee to the Los Angeles Economy and Jobs Committee, Board of Directors for LA Inc., the Los Angeles Convention and Visitors Bureau and the California League of Conservation Voters.

Maria Elena is a graduate of St. Mary’s College in Moraga and earned a law degree from the People’s College of Law in 1985.