Camila Chavez

Executive Director

Camila is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of the Dolores Huerta Foundation (DHF). From the DHF headquarters in Bakersfield, Ms. Chávez oversees the strategic direction of this organization that seeks to empower historically disenfranchised communities with the training and skills to make transformational changes in their communities. Camila has led the evolution of this organization from its infancy, seeded with $100,000 from the Puffin/Nation prize for Creative Citizenship awarded to Dolores Huerta in 2003 to an established anchor organization with a $7 million dollar operating budget and over 50 full-time staff members and 100 seasonal canvassers.

Under her leadership, DHF has increased the political representation of communities of color, addressed voting and education inequities, and secured millions of dollars for neighborhood improvements such as sidewalks, gutters, street lights, neighborhood parks, swimming pools, and school campus renovations. Vecinos Unidos (Neighbors United) leaders were at the forefront of these campaigns to improve the quality of life in their communities, a model that she helped create. This community empowerment model has led to many significant victories during her tenure, including establishing over 12 DHF grassroots community organizations throughout California’s Central Valley and developing a youth leadership program. 

Most recently, the Dolores Huerta Foundation has been successful in raising funds through a capital campaign to establish the Dolores Huerta Peace and Justice Cultural Center in Bakersfield.  The Center is scheduled to break ground in 2024 and open in 2026.

Camila’s leadership has been recognized by the League of Women Voters Carrie Catt Award (2018), the Community Action Partnership of Kern County’s Humanitarian of the Year Award (2019), and the James Irvine Foundation Leadership Award (2022). The DHF received Governor Jerry Brown’s Foundation of the Year Award (2018). Camila is the Board Chair of California Calls and sits on the following organizational boards: California Calls, Inner City Struggle, and Planned Parenthood PAC. Ms. Chavez is also a state commissioner on The California Hope, Opportunity, Perseverance, and Empowerment (HOPE) for Children Trust Account.

Her life-long commitment to social justice is rooted in the example she was given growing up in La Paz, the headquarters of the farm worker movement (now the National Chavez Center). Her mother, Dolores Huerta, and her father, Richard Chavez, instilled the ideals of non-violence, selfless motivation, and personal responsibility that were reinforced through the actions of people like her Uncle Cesar Chavez.

After earning her BA in Early Childhood Education from Mills College and a short career in public health, she returned to Kern County, where she has spent the last 20 years. Camila is proud to call the Central Valley home and enjoys hiking, traveling, dancing, and spending quality time with her husband and their two children.

Camila Chavez
D O N A T E ♡