Press Releases

Cal Humanities Welcomes New Board Members

May 1, 2014

(San Francisco, CA) Cal Humanities is pleased to announce the appointment of three new members to its board of directors. The new appointees are Jeff Adachi, Alex Espinoza and Hector Tobar.

President, Ralph Lewin commented, “We are very pleased to have such talented and distinguished additions to our board. With these appointments, Cal Humanities is poised to increase its reach and impact in California to a great degree.” 

Jeff Adachi is the elected Public Defender of the City and County of San Francisco since March 2002 and worked as a deputy public defender in San Francisco for 15 years. From 1998-2001, he served as the Chief Attorney of the office. He has tried over 150 jury trials, including numerous serious felony and homicide cases, and has handled over 3,000 criminal matters throughout his career. As the only elected Public Defender in the state of California, Mr. Adachi oversees an office of 93 lawyers and 60 support staff. Mr. Adachi has received numerous local, state and national awards, most recently the 2013 San Francisco Lawyers Club’s Access to Justice Award, Vanguard Court Watch 2013 Elected Official of the Year, and 2014 Good Government Award.

Alex Espinoza was born in Tijuana, Mexico and raised in suburban Los Angeles.  He is the author of the novel, Still Water Saints, (Random House, 2007) which was named a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers Selection. Its Spanish edition, Los santos de Agua Mansa, California, was translated by Lilliana Valenzuela. His second novel, The Five Acts of Diego León, was published by Random House in March 2013. Currently, Alex is an associate professor of English and Creative Writing and interim chair of the Department of Chicano and Latin American Studies at Fresno State. He holds a BA from UC-Riverside, and an MFA from UC-Irvine.

Hector Tobar is a Los Angeles born author and journalist. The son of Guatemalan immigrants, in 1992, he won a Pulitzer Prize for his work as part of the team covering the L.A. riots for the Los Angeles Times. Tobar is the author of the novel, The Tattooed Soldier, and non-fiction, Translation Nation: Defining a New American Identity in the Spanish-Speaking United States. His third book, The Barbarian Nurseries, was named a New York Times Notable Book for 2011 and won the 2012 California Book Award gold medal for fiction. In 2006, Tobar was named one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the United States by Hispanic Business magazine. He is a graduate of the University of California, Santa Cruz and the MFA program in Creative Writing at the University of California, Irvine. He is currently a book critic with the Los Angeles Times.

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Cal Humanities’ mission is to connect Californians to ideas and one another in order to understand our shared heritage and diverse cultures, inspire civic participation, and shape our future.

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