Former Obama aide named managing editor of LA Times race venture

alejandra-campoverdi-ucla.jpgAlejandra Campoverdi has been named managing editor of #EmergingUS, the LA Times' new multimedia venture on race and multiculturalism with immigration activist Jose Antonio Vargas. He tweeted back on Feb. 27 that she would be the managing editor, but the LA Times just announced it to the staff today in a memo from Nick Goldberg, editor of the editorial pages, and Nicco Mele, the new deputy publisher. This is, I believe, the first editorial department hire on which Mele has co-signed the email. Campoverdi was already at the Times, as director of video initiatives, and had previously advised Univision on strategy. She worked in the Obama White House after his election in 2008.

The email:

To: The Staff
From: Nick Goldberg, Editor of the Editorial Pages, and Nicco Mele, Deputy Publisher

One month ago we announced #EmergingUS, an exciting new multimedia venture with award-winning journalist Jose Antonio Vargas focused on race, immigration, identity and multiculturalism in a changing America.

It is our pleasure to announce that Alejandra Campoverdi has been named managing editor of #EmergingUS.

Alejandra recently joined the Los Angeles Times as director of video initiatives, yet her professional and personal background soon proved to be a natural fit for #EmergingUS. Prior to joining The Times, Alejandra served as senior advisor for innovation and communications strategy for Univision Network News and was a part of the team that launched Fusion, a digital and television joint venture between Disney/ABC and Univision. In addition, she appeared regularly as a host/producer on DNA, an interactive television show focused on social issues that aired live on Fusion.

From 2009-12, Alejandra worked in the White House, most recently as deputy director of Hispanic media. It was in this role that she briefed President Obama in preparation for interviews with Latino media and implemented the White House’s multimedia communications strategy in relation to the Latino community. Prior that that, Alejandra worked in the White House chief of staff’s office as special assistant to deputy chief of staff for policy Mona Sutphen. Previously, Alejandra was at the California Endowment, where she worked on the Agricultural Worker Health Initiative, which focused on developing and implementing programs and strategies aimed to improve the health and living conditions of California’s agricultural workers.

A Mexican American born and raised in Los Angeles, Alejandra has a unique perspective on the balancing act of biculturalism and ethnic identity. She holds a master’s of public policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and graduated cum laude from the Annenberg School for Communication & Journalism at USC. Alejandra currently sits on the executive advisory board of the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy and is the founder/president of A Fighting Chance Now, a nonprofit that empowers Latino youth to reach their full potential by connecting them with the support, resources and tools to take their future into their own hands.

Please join us in congratulating Alejandra.

Campoverdi wrote about her roots in an alumni profile on the Riordan Fellowship page at UCLA. The photo is from there. Excerpt:

I was born and raised in Los Angeles by a single mother who immigrated from Mexico, initially working in a factory before becoming a teacher at an inner-city school. Every day I experienced firsthand the struggles of my family and friends around issues of immigration status, unemployment, poverty, and access to quality education and health care. When I think about the roots of my passion for public service, it all ties back to my family’s journey. While studying as an undergraduate at USC’s Annenberg School of Communication and Journalism, I found myself increasingly drawn to the public sector and to advocacy for the advancement of the US Hispanic community. I accepted a job with The California Endowment (TCE), a foundation dedicated to expanding health care access to underserved communities. While at TCE, I worked as a part of the Agricultural Worker Health Initiative – a program aimed at improving the health and living conditions of California’s agricultural workers and their families. It was at this time that I applied to Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government. Yet while I was studying at Harvard, instead of exclusively focusing forward, I found myself compelled to look back. I felt obligated more than ever to elevate the experiences of the past using whatever platform I was now able to access.

Upon receiving my Master of Public Policy, I joined the '08 Obama campaign at the headquarters in Chicago. I was fortunate to be standing in Grant Park on election night. The day after President Obama was sworn in as the 44th President of the United States, I began working in the White House, where I would be from 2009-2012. I initially worked in the White House Chief of Staff's Office as Special Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff for Policy, and I was later appointed White House Deputy Director of Hispanic Media. In this role, I implemented the White House’s communications strategy directed towards the Hispanic community and briefed President Obama in preparation for interviews with Hispanic media. It was also in this job that I was able to walk my mother into the Oval Office to meet the President of the United States. It was a full circle moment that I will never forget.

Campoverdi on Twitter.

Noted: In 2009, Gawker posted about Campoverdi failing to make it onto "The Apprentice," appearing as a contestant on "For Love Or Money" and posing in Maxim. As well as her working for President Obama.

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