Press Statements

The California Immigrant Policy Center Announces the Departure of Cynthia Buiza as Executive Director

“Cynthia is a rare executive director who not only can develop a bold strategic vision but also inspire staff, board, and supporters to achieve it.” – Hector Villagra, CIPC Board Chair

LOS ANGELES, CA – The California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC) Board of Directors announces that after seven years, Cynthia Buiza will step down from her role as Executive Director in May 2023. In the coming months, the Board will work closely with Cynthia and CIPC staff to ensure a seamless transition. 

“We are profoundly grateful to Cynthia for her service to CIPC. The organization has flourished under her leadership,” Board Chair Hector Villagra said. “She is a rare executive director who not only can develop a bold strategic vision but also inspire staff, board, and supporters to achieve it. Her intelligence, humility, and integrity will be greatly missed by all who worked with her. The board and staff wish her continued success and happiness.”

During her tenure, Cynthia led CIPC through pivotal organizational growth – transitioning CIPC from a fiscally sponsored organization into a 501(c)(3), more than doubled the staff and tripled its budget, while guiding impactful policy campaigns that helped advance a progressive statewide immigrant justice agenda. Notable accomplishments under Cynthia’s leadership include:

“I am deeply grateful to the CIPC team, our Board of Directors, and the many friends, partners, funders, and allies who have stood with CIPC – and me – in some of the most challenging times in the immigrant rights movement. Without your support, fellowship, and solidarity, CIPC would not be where it is today. Without your faith in my leadership, this immigrant from the Philippines would not have made it this far. I leave knowing that we have made life better for immigrants, and CIPC is a robust organization prepared to continue to lead the work. So with all the love and gratitude that a heart can hold, I want to say thank you to all of you for helping CIPC cast a bright beacon of hope and light for our communities,” stated Cynthia. 

Cynthia leaves behind a strong Board, powerful partnerships and regional coalition partners, an experienced leadership team, and a talented staff that will aid in the process of identifying the best candidate to succeed her as Executive Director. The Board of Directors established a Succession Planning Committee in December 2022, composed of Board and Staff members, facilitated by Ali Carella of La Piana Consulting, one of the country’s most experienced nonprofit consulting firms. In addition, CIPC has retained Koya Partners, the nation’s premier search firm dedicated to mission-driven organizations, to lead this search. Michelle Bonoan, Managing Director based in Los Angeles, is leading the assignment. To learn more about the search, please contact Koya at


The California Immigrant Policy Center (CIPC) is a statewide immigrant rights organization that advocates for policies that protect and advance the rights of immigrants and their families throughout California. CIPC combines legislative and policy advocacy, strategic communications, statewide organizing, and regional coalition capacity building to pursue its mission of advocating for policies that uphold the humanity of immigrants and refugees while advancing racial, social, and economic justice.

CONTACT: Ian Moor,