Cindy Montañez

Executive Advisory Council Member

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Cindy, who serves as the CEO of TreePeople, is a lifelong Angeleno raised in the Northeast San Fernando Valley. She began volunteering with local community organizations at the age of 12.

Her love for the environment began with her family. Cindy’s mother was raised in a remote, mountainous region of Veracruz, Mexico and her father in the dry border state of Chihuahua.

Her parents ignited a passion for the environment in Cindy at an early age when they pointed out environmental injustices in their neighborhood. As a family, they participated in tree plantings and, blessed them with visits to state and national parks and encouraged the kids to pursue careers in social justice.

At the age of 25, Cindy was elected as the youngest mayor and councilmember of her hometown of San Fernando. At 28 years old, she made history by becoming the youngest woman elected to the California State Legislature, where she became a champion for the environment, sustainable urban planning and social justice.

Cindy then moved on to serve as Assistant General Manager at the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, where she was a core part of the team transitioning the nation's largest publicly-owned utility to cleaner energy and a more sustainable local water supply.

Cindy is currently a Board Member for the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability and a Legislator In-Residence at the USC Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics.