Jimmy Carter photo

Community Services Administration Nomination of Graciela (Grace) Olivarez To Be Director.

April 04, 1977

The President today announced that he will nominate Graciela (Grace) Olivarez, of Albuquerque, N. Mex., to be Director of the Community Services Administration. Ms. Olivarez is presently director of the State planning office in Albuquerque.

She was born in Phoenix, Ariz., on March 9, 1928. She received a J.D. degree from Notre Dame Law School in 1970.

From 1952 to 1962, Olivarez was women's program director at Phoenix radio station KIFN, responsible for writing, producing, and broadcasting women's and children's programs in Spanish. From 1962 to 1966, she was a staff specialist for the Choate Foundation in Phoenix, where she counseled Mexican American families and established a program of after-school study halls for economically disadvantaged children. During this period she also surveyed the living conditions of Mexican Americans in five Southwestern States on a Ford Foundation grant and served as executive secretary for the National Conference on Poverty in the Southwest.

In 1966 and 1967, Olivarez was director of the Arizona State office of economic opportunity, and in 1967 she was assigned for 6 months to represent OEO in a project in Los Angeles, with the Departments of Labor and HEW, to develop the Concentrated Employment Project there. In 1967 she also worked on a Labor Department task force studying the problems of the chronically unemployed.

Olivarez worked for the U.S. Civil Rights Commission in 1968, doing field surveys of the problems of Mexican Americans. In 1969 she worked for the Bureau of the Census, preparing a brochure explaining and promoting the 1970 census for Mexican Americans, and for Volt Information Sciences, evaluating various OEO-funded programs.

In 1968 and 1969, she also worked for the Urban Development Institute at Purdue University as a consultant on municipal law, studying the problems of Latin Americans residing in Gary, Ind. In 1970 she was a consultant on Mexican American affairs to the National Urban Coalition. From 1970 to 1972, she managed an OEO-funded program to improve Federal food programs.

She served as a professor of law at the University of New Mexico Law School and as director of the Institute for Social Research and Development at the University of New Mexico from 1972 until 1975, when she became director of the State planning office.

She has also served as a consultant to the National Commission on Rural Poverty, a lecturer on the culture of Mexican Americans at numerous universities, and as a public speaker. She is a member of the National Advisory Council on Economic Opportunity and the national boards of Common Cause and the American Civil Liberties Union. She was a panel member at the 1969 White House Conference on Food, Nutrition, and Health.

She has received a National Award from the American Cancer Society for her cancer prevention work among Mexican American women in Arizona, and an award from the Mexican Chamber of Commerce of Phoenix for her contributions to the total improvement of Mexican Americans in Arizona. She received an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Amherst College in 1973.

Jimmy Carter, Community Services Administration Nomination of Graciela (Grace) Olivarez To Be Director. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/242991