Director, Program and Operations
UCLA Veterans Affairs Relations
Nominated by Assemblymember Wendy Carrillo For over 15 years, Kristie Hernandez has led a life in public service with a passion for government relations, legislative affairs, policy advocacy and community engagement. Kristie’s professional experience extends into every level of government - local, state, federal and the executive branch. She has worked in the classroom with students at the Los Angeles Unified School District; advocated with the national Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund; and represented the first female Senate Majority Leader of the California State Legislature. On the horizon of national health care reform, she tirelessly advocated for medically underserved communities as the Manager of Legislative and Advocacy Affairs at AltaMed Health Services - the largest federally qualified health center organization in the country. In 2014, Kristie was appointed by former President Barack Obama to serve at the Department of Defense (DoD) in the Office of Legislative Affairs as a legislative liaison to the United States Congress. While working at the Pentagon, she advised the Office of the Secretary of Defense and DoD senior leadership on sensitive military personnel and readiness portfolios including: military sexual assault prevention, suicide prevention, diversity management and equal opportunity, military dependent education, DoD and Veteran Affairs collaboration, and the Transition to Veterans Program. Kristie facilitated meetings with DoD and Congress, prepared DoD leadership for Congressional hearings, and communicated closely with the United States Senate and House Armed Services Committees to uphold the department’s legislative and budget priorities. In her current capacity as Director of Program and Operations for UCLA’s Veterans Affairs Relations office, Kristie is the liaison for UCLA and the Greater Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Healthcare System (VAGLAHS). Kristie oversees and promotes the Chancellor’s recent veteran-related initiative, which expands UCLA’s commitment to military veterans and their families with the implementation of three new programs on the VAGLAHS campus – the Veteran Family Wellness Center, UCLA School of Law Veterans Legal Clinic, and the Center of Excellence for Veterans with a focus on homelessness, substance abuse and mental health recovery.