Women’s Hall of Fame

Christine Padilla

Christine Padilla, born and raised in San Mateo County, is a leader who has earned the respect of her peers in our county and beyond. Her contributions and achievements, at the intersection of service and government, have seeded greater opportunities for other women to represent and lead their communities. As Commissioner on the Status of Women from 2011 through 2022, she played a pivotal role in widening access to past Women’s Leadership Conferences and served as its Vice President in 2012 and then President in 2013. Throughout her tenure with the Commission, she worked for a future where all women in San Mateo County have fundamental human rights, and all girls are able to lead extraordinary lives. As Co-Chair of KQED’s Community Advisory Panel, she continues her passion for public service by steering the group’s mandate of amplifying and uplifting the stories of diverse communities.

As the Director of Build Up San Mateo County since its founding in 2018, she has made it her mission to ensure that high-quality early care and learning is accessible and affordable for working families while supporting and advocating for those who teach and care for their children. This work leverages her skills and experience facilitating complex multi-sector and cross-agency initiatives, collaborating with local government, real estate developers, housing advocates and the child-care sector. Christine’s work in San Mateo County has been so effective that it helped inspire the establishment Build Up California in 2020, a statewide network dedicated to sustaining, improving, and expanding the supply of early learning facilities – to which she serves as an advisor. In addition, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation did a case study on her work in San Mateo County citing it as an example for other counties to replicate across the country.

Christine is a transformational leader who leads by example, and values kindness above all. In everything that she does or has done, as a nonprofit executive director, former senior congressional staff member, corporate government relations director, and mentor, she brings her whole self, her expertise, her dedication, and her lived experience. She passionately advocates the equitable representation of overlooked voices, and has positively impacted not just local governance, but also our culture of belonging and social justice. Her community footprint can be seen across all intersections and institutions, from the family and child-care sector to women’s rights, arts and culture, housing justice, race relations, to all levels of government, and even diplomacy. She previously served as Senior Field Representative for the Office of Congresswoman Anna G. Eshoo, and Senior Field Representative to the late Congressman Tom Lantos, who served as chairman of the Foreign Affairs Committee. She was a delegate to the Philippines with the Honorable Gavin Newsom further strengthening cultural, social, historical, and economic ties between our two countries. She was also a founding organizer for the Asian Heritage Street Celebration and served on the boards of the Women’s Intercultural Network, the San Francisco-Manila Sister City Committee, and CORA-Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse Kumares’ Domestic Violence Awareness Taskforce. In 2008, she received the Pacific Asian American Women Bay Area Coalition’s (PAAWBAC) Monarch Leadership Award and continues to devote her time to community organizations and campaigns focused on social justice issues.

In the San Francisco Bay Area’s interconnected social structures and infrastructures, Christine’s voice has been consistently strong, inclusive, outstanding, unparalleled, and unimpeachable. She has contributed greatly to the overall well-being of San Mateo County and is proud to call it home.
*This biography and photo of the honoree was published in .

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