Executive Director, First 5 Los Angeles; former Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency
“The Opportunity Institute’s focus on building opportunity beginning in a child’s earliest years is the type of perspective that is needed to make meaningful change on a large scale. The organization’s integrated approach to local, state, and national work, including its attention to California’s challenges, is unusual but absolutely right.”
Kim Belshé was named Executive Director of First 5 Los Angeles in November 2012. Prior to joining First 5 LA, she served as senior policy advisor of Public Policy Institute of California and, from 2003-2011, Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency in the Administration of Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger. Kim previously held a number of leadership positions in state government, including director of the Department of Health Services and deputy secretary of the Health and Welfare Agency under Governor Pete Wilson. Kim also has served in leadership positions in California philanthropy, including the James Irvine Foundation. Kim was a founding member of the board of the state’s Health Benefit Exchange, Covered California, in 2011, and of the State First 5 Commission in 1999. She currently serves on the board of the Blue Shield of California Foundation and is a member of the Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured. She is a native of San Francisco and holds a master’s degree in public policy from Princeton University and a bachelor’s degree in government from Harvard College.