Iris Zuniga

Executive Vice President, Youth Policy Institute

Iris Zuñiga is the Executive Vice President of Youth Policy Institute, a leading nonprofit agency in the region with an annual budget of $50 million and more than 1,700 staff operating out of 138 program sites across Los Angeles. YPI’s programs reach over 115,000 youth and adults each year. Since joining YPI in 2006, Iris has led efforts to reinforce YPI’s commitment to the communities it serves through a results-based framework. Her day-to-day efforts ensure that YPI effectively accomplishes its mission of eradicating poverty and increasing academic achievement. More recently, Iris’ efforts have resulted in the awarding of a $30 million Promise Neighborhoods grant from the U.S. Department of Education and a Promise Zone designation. Promise Neighborhoods is President Obama’s signature education and anti-poverty initiative. The Los Angeles Promise Neighborhood is targeting the communities of Pacoima and Hollywood with a cross-sector partnership that includes the City of Los Angeles, the Los Angeles Police Department, the County of Los Angeles, Los Angeles Unified School District, and more than 60 community-based partners. Before joining YPI, Iris served as Education & Health Field Deputy for a California state senator. In this capacity, she oversaw the development and implementation of education and health community programs to support community residents. Iris received her A.A. degree from Los Angeles Mission College and transferred to UCLA where she earned her B.A. in Sociology and Chicano/a Studies. She earned her Masters of Public Administration (MPA) from California State University, Northridge. She was raised in Pacoima where her parents still reside. Iris has served on the board of Comisión Femenil of the San Fernando Valley and the Chicano Latino Youth Leadership Project. Iris was appointed and served on the Los Angeles City Recreation & Parks Commission from 2014–2016. Most recently, Iris was appointed to the CA Statewide Lifting Children and Families Out of Poverty task force.