Dr. Marisela Montoya assumed the role of executive director of South Los Angeles Health Projects in October 2021.
She is the organization’s first Latina female executive director—an important milestone that demonstrates the organization’s commitment to diversity and inclusion.
Dr. Montoya’s goal, shared by all staff, is to enhance the health and quality of life of low-income adults, infants, and children in South LA.
As executive director, Dr. Montoya is building and executing strategy, delivering on operational excellence, and forging a strong relationship with community partners. She is modernizing the agency’s systems and processes.
Dr. Montoya is committed to sustainability and diversity, and to evolving the agency’s workplace culture throughout our post-pandemic future. She has been leading staff to focus on sustainability, social responsibility, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
Dr. Montoya joined the agency in 2014 as the LA BioMed WIC chief of site operations. Even before her appointment as executive director, she assisted the executive director to address the most complex and critical operational issues and policies impacting the organization, ensuring that these were developed and implemented consistent with the agency’s mission, vision, and values.
She points to the staff’s dedication to our mission and the value of their efforts, which make South LA Health Projects an outstanding organization and a destination employer.
A native of Mexico, Dr. Montoya immigrated to West Los Angeles with her parents in 1972. She attended Los Angeles Unified School District and Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District schools. Dr. Montoya and her husband have three sons, two granddaughters, and two chocolate Labradors.
Dr. Montoya holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics and Food Administration with a minor in Chemistry, and a Master’s degree in Family and Consumer Sciences with an Education emphasis. She earned a Doctoral degree in Organizational Leadership.
Dr. Montoya successfully completed a Dietetic Internship with the honorary title of Summa Cum Laude and is also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.