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Mary Hayashi, an award-winning author, is among this country’s most accomplished advocates for diversity and gender equality. As a national healthcare leader, public affairs consultant, non-profit director, and former California State Assemblymember,

Mary Hayashi has championed meaningful reforms to expand the delivery and coverage of healthcare. She also established unprecedented partnerships in support of social causes that previously had no financial or public backing.


Mary Hayashi with First Lady Michelle Obama, Mayor Karen Bass and President Obama

In the California State Legislature, Mary Hayashi authored several bills focused on healthcare reform and gender equality, including AB 25, a concussion safety bill that placed California alongside Washington as the state with the toughest return-to-play laws for student-athletes. She also authored AB509, which led to the establishment of California’s Office of Suicide Prevention, and AB73, creating permanent funding for domestic violence prevention, intervention, and prosecution efforts in Alameda County.

Mary Hayashi served as a leadership team member for Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez, chairing the Committee on Business, Professions, and Consumer Protection, which has broad jurisdiction over many aspects of government regulation and oversight. She also served on the Assembly transportation, revenue and taxation, health, and insurance committees.

Before serving in the California State Legislature, Mary Hayashi played a key role in the winning campaign to pass Proposition 63 to increase funding for mental health programs. Her work led Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to appoint her to the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission to implement the new ballot measure. She was also a leadership member of the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention, a public-private partnership working to implement the National Strategy for Suicide Prevention.

Mary Hayashi with First Lady Michelle Obama, Mayor Karen Bass and President Obama

Mary Hayashi has served as the California Director of the American Public Health Association and as a consultant for the Foundation Consortium for California's Children and Youth. Mary Hayashi was the Executive Director of the Capital Unity Council, working to establish the Capital Unity Center, an interactive learning museum to increase public understanding of California’s diversity.

Mary Hayashi was appointed to the California Board of Registered Nursing, which oversees the regulation of the practice of registered nurses. She also served on the boards of Girls Inc of Alameda County, the National Breast Cancer Coalition; Chabot Community College Foundation, Planned Parenthood Golden Gate, NARAL Pro-Choice America, and Research! America, which successfully doubled the federal budget for the National Institutes of Health. Mary Hayashi also contributed to developing the first White House Conference on Mental Health as a featured speaker.

Mary Hayashi has advised the nation’s top policy leaders, including the former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, on his national campaign to eliminate health disparities and promote bioterrorism preparedness initiatives. In addition, she served on the transition advisory team for Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass.


Mary Hayashi with former 49er Eric Davis

As Public Affairs Consultant, Mary Hayashi represents a diverse group of business and policy leaders, successfully assisting them in working through some of today’s most complex public policy issues. She has extensive and varied experience assisting clients on matters at the state and national level, having worked across both coasts and with government decision-makers across the United States. Among many legislative and political accomplishments, Mary served as the lead strategist for the California Pharmacists Association’s successful passage of SB493. This landmark legislation expanded patient access to healthcare and improved the quality and efficiency of the healthcare delivery system. She was awarded the California Pharmacists Association Friend of Pharmacy Award and the California Pharmacists Association President’s Award for leading the successful enactment of SB493. She currently leads several multi-state healthcare initiatives, developing and implementing integrated legislative and political programs.

Mary Hayashi previously served as the project director of the Women’s Sports Safety Initiative, sponsored by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, which is dedicated to advancing the lives of women and girls by raising awareness of sports-related injuries and the unique factors affecting women’s susceptibility to and recovery from injury. Additionally, she serves as a donor-advisor on a charitable fund dedicated to preventing multiple concussions in youth athletes.

Mary Hayashi with former 49er Eric Davis

Mary Hayashi’s remarkable journey from her childhood in Korea to prominence as a healthcare leader is documented in her book, Far From Home: Shattering the Myth of the Model Minority. She has been honored by diverse organizations for her work on behalf of minority health and women, from Redbook magazine and Ladies' Home Journal to Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California and the Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center.

Mary Hayashi has been named “One of the 100 Most Influential Asians of the Decade” by A Magazine: Inside Asian America” and one

of the “Women to Watch” by Ladies Home Journal. In addition, Mary was named Legislator of the Year by the American Red Cross and the California Medical Association. She also received the Distinguished Public Service Award from the Alameda County Democratic Lawyers Club and the Above and Beyond Award from the California Dental Association.

Mary Hayashi earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of San Francisco and her Master in Business Administration degree from Golden Gate University.


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At the intersection of diversity, equality, public policy, and healthcare, Mary Hayashi is not your typical public affairs consultant. She’s a strategist and advisor, advocate, and philanthropist. She pursues meaningful reform and creates steadfast partnerships.