Norma Vega currently serves as Chief Strategy & External Relations Officer for the American Red Cross, LA Region where she oversees community engagement strategies as part of PrepareLA – a multi-hazard resiliency and preparedness campaign. She also oversees all government relations as well as national partnerships with Latino organizations. She is also founder & president of Navegate, Inc., a social equity consulting firm assisting clients in the areas of advocacy, Latino engagement, public affairs, and government relations.
Ms. Vega worked in Washington, DC as a Senior Advocacy Consultant at the Ibarra Strategy Group – a government and public affairs firm where she handled intergovernmental support, external communications, Latino outreach, and political affairs.
Previously, Ms. Vega served as Executive Director of the Office of the Census 2010 in the Office of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa. She developed a citywide educational and community outreach campaign that resulted in the highest mail participation rate of any other comparable city and thus ensured that California did not lose a congressional seat, as originally predicted. She had also served as the Mayor’s Area Director and liaison to the community, civic groups, and city departments.
She began her career at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) as a paralegal. Later as the Belmont Parent School Partnership Director, she organized parents to ensure the construction of a much-needed high school and a joint-use park (the first new public park to have been built in downtown LA, since 1895). She then served as a national trainer where she partnered with parent groups, teachers, school district administrators, and community stakeholders to implement effective parent engagement strategies. At the same time, she worked with parents locally to develop and execute a successful grass-roots legal campaign and organized a coalition of community stakeholders. This resulted in the savings of $95 million and the construction of the schools at the former Ambassador Hotel site – the Robert F. Kennedy Community Schools.
Norma Vega has dedicated her career to advocating and organizing for social justice issues and enhancing the quality of life for underserved communities. She supports several non-profits and advocacy campaigns. Ms. Vega is a first generation college graduate. She attended University of California, Irvine and graduated cum laude with a B.A. in Criminology, Law & Society. She was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and raised in the Pico Union area of Los Angeles.