Founding Director, Health Initiative of the Americas, University of California Berkeley

Xóchitl Castañeda

Xóchitl Castañeda is the founding director of the Health Initiative of the Americas, a University of California initiative that coordinates and optimizes health resources for immigrants from Latin America and their families in California through collaboration, education and training efforts.

Castañeda previously served as a professor and researcher for seven years at Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health, where she also directed the Department of Reproductive Health. In 1999, she received the National Research Award on Social Science and Medicine. Castañeda has published more than 50 scientific works and has served as a consultant for more than 20 national and international institutions.

A medical anthropologist by training, Castañeda was educated in Guatemala and Mexico. She did a post-doctoral fellowship in reproductive health at the University of California, San Francisco, and also received training in social science and medicine at Harvard University.