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Featured Speakers, Panelists and Framers

Cecilia V. Estolano

Cecilia V. Estolano

Cecilia V. Estolano is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of CRA/LA. With an annual budget exceeding $600 million and a work program covering 32 project areas throughout the City of Los Angeles, CRA/LA is the largest redevelopment agency in the State of California. Since joining CRA/LA in May 2006, Ms. Estolano has redefined the role of CRA/LA to encompass a broad mission of creating economic opportunity and improving the quality of life for current and future generations living in CRA/LA project areas.

Under Ms. Estolano's leadership, CRA/LA has focused on creating family-supporting jobs, producing affordable and workforce housing, promoting sustainable urbanism and delivering significant, transformative investment to areas of Los Angeles that have not shared in the city's cycles of prosperity. During her tenure, CRA/LA has rebuilt its housing department, adopted a landmark policy on local hiring in construction jobs receiving financial support from CRA/LA, adopted a Healthy Neighborhoods policy as a blueprint for incorporating sustainability principles throughout CRA/LA's practices, programs and projects.

Prior to joining CRA/LA Ms. Estolano was counsel in the Los Angeles office of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher.  Her practice focused on land use, zoning, redevelopment, municipal law, the California Environmental Quality Act and environmental permitting and regulatory issues.

From 2001 to 2004, Ms. Estolano served as Special Assistant City Attorney for land use, economic development and environment for Los Angeles City Attorney Rocky Delgadillo, where she presided over a major restructuring of the office to create the Real Estate and Economic Development Practice (REED) Group.  She was also the City's top negotiator in achieving a landmark settlement in Clean Water Act litigation brought by the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. EPA Region IX, the State of California and the Santa Monica Baykeeper regarding the City's sewer system.

Ms. Estolano's public sector background includes experience at the local, state and federal level.  Ms. Estolano served on the California Coastal Commission from 1999 to 2002 as an appointee of the Speaker of the California Assembly.  From 1993 to 1995, she served as Senior Policy Advisor with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, where she advised the Assistant Administrator for Air and Radiation on mobile source regulations, state and local relations and California air quality issues.  She served as Los Angeles Mayor Tom Bradley's Environmental Policy Advisor from 1991 to 1993.

Ms. Estolano served on Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa's 2005 Transition Team and has sat on the boards of directors for several organizations, including Lambda Legal, the California League of Conservation Voters and Heal the Bay.  She has served on the California Advisory Board of the Trust for Public Land, the Advisory Board of the Sustainable Cities Program at the University of Southern California and as Co-Chair of the U.S. EPA Clean Air Act Advisory Committee, Subcommittee on Energy, Transportation and Air Quality.

In November 2008, Ms. Estolano was appointed by then President-elect Barack Obama to his Transition Team's Energy and Natural Resources Team.  Ms. Estolano served as the Deputy Chair of the Environmental Protection Agency Review Team, which was charged with providing the President-elect and his key advisors information needed to make strategic policy, budgetary, and personnel decisions prior to the inauguration.

In February 2009, Ms. Estolano was appointed to Senator Barbara Boxer's Central District Judicial Advisory Committee, one of four regional committees that will make recommendations to the Senator for the positions of U.S. District Court Judge, U.S. Attorney, and U.S. Marshal.

Ms. Estolano currently serves on the Board of Directors of the California Redevelopment Association, a statewide organization comprised of 350 redevelopment agencies which provides information on legislative proposals and administrative regulations and professional development services to redevelopment agencies throughout the state. She is also a lecturer at the UCLA School of Public Affairs, where she teaches courses on urban planning.

Ms. Estolano is a graduate of Boalt Hall School of Law and holds an M.A. in Urban Planning from UCLA.  She received her undergraduate degree in Social Studies with honors from Harvard-Radcliffe Colleges.