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Mary Hayashi is an award-winning author who is among this country’s most accomplished champions for diversity and women’s rights. As a national healthcare leader, public affairs consultant, non-profit director, and former California State Assemblymember, Mary has dedicated her life to serving America and its most vulnerable citizens.

Mary has been the driving force behind meaningful reforms to expand the 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

Steering pivotal healthcare and gender equality reforms in the California State Legislature, Mary Hayashi championed groundbreaking legislation such as AB 25—establishing unparalleled concussion safety measures for student-athletes—and AB 509, which created California’s Office of Suicide Prevention. Furthermore, her instrumental role in crafting AB 73 fortified permanent funding channels for domestic violence countermeasures in Alameda County.

Assembly Speaker Fabian Nunez also appointed Mary to serve as Chair of the Committee on Business, Professions, and Consumer Protection—a vanguard for government regulation and oversight. Her influence extended to key Assembly committees, encompassing transportation, revenue, health, and insurance.

Even before her service in the California State Legislature, Mary was the driving force behind the successful campaign for Proposition 63, amplifying financial support for mental health initiatives. In recognition of her unparalleled dedication, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger entrusted Mary with a pivotal role in the California Mental Health Services Oversight and Accountability Commission. Moreover, Mary fortified national efforts against suicide as a central figure in the National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention.

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

Over a robust career of safeguarding public health and championing diversity, Mary Hayashi held the esteemed position of California Director for the American Public Health Association and provided strategic insights as a consultant for the Foundation Consortium for California's Children and Youth. As the Executive Director of the Capital Unity Council, she pioneered the establishment of the Capital Unity Center, an interactive learning museum designed to celebrate California’s diversity.

Mary was also appointed to the California Board of Registered Nursing, which oversees the regulation of the practice of registered nurses. Her leadership also fortified the boards of several influential organizations, such as 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—where teamwork and collaboration led to the successful doubling of the federal budget for the National Institutes of Health.

Mary was also a key contributor in the development of the first White House Conference on Mental Health and served as a featured speaker.

Guiding national policy trajectories, Mary has also advised some of the nation’s top policy leaders. This includes former U.S. Surgeon General David Satcher, aiding his national campaign to bridge health disparities and strengthen bioterrorism preparedness. In addition, Mary served on Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass’s transition advisory team.


Mary Hayashi with former 49er Eric Davis

As a public affairs consultant, Mary Hayashi has guided a myriad of business and policy visionaries through complex, contemporary public policy challenges. Earned from years of navigating political landscapes and cultivating strong ties with governmental key players across the nation, Mary’s experience positions her as a key strategist for state and national endeavors.

Among her contributions, Mary took the helm as the chief strategist behind the California Pharmacists Association’s successful passage of SB 493. This pivotal legislation broke barriers in healthcare accessibility, ushering in an era of enhanced healthcare quality and streamlined delivery. Her leadership and vision were celebrated with accolades: the California Pharmacists Association Friend of Pharmacy Award and the President’s Award. Today, Mary charts the course for numerous expansive healthcare ventures across multiple states, architecting cohesive legislative and political strategies.

Mary also championed women’s health as the project director of the Women’s Sports Safety Initiative, sponsored by the Silicon Valley Community Foundation. This initiative underscores Mary’s life-long commitment to uplift women and girls by raising awareness of sports-related injuries and the unique factors that affect women’s susceptibility to and recovery from injury. Mary also serves as a donor-advisor for a charitable fund dedicated to preventing multiple concussions among young athletes.

Mary Hayashi with former 49er Eric Davis

Mary Hayashi’s transformative journey, from her early days in Korea to her rise as a preeminent healthcare leader in the United States, is chronicled in her first book, Far From Home: Shattering the Myth of the Model Minority

Mary’s second book, Women in Politics: Breaking Down the Barriers to Achieve True Representation is a compelling exploration of the strides made by women in government. This essential, contemporary analysis bridges the gap between past and present, blending Mary’s personal journey as an Asian American immigrant and former California State Assemblymember with the inspiring stories of trailblazing women in political leadership.

Diverse organizations ranging from Redbook and Ladies’ Home Journal to Planned Parenthood Affiliates of California and the Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Center have recognized and

honored Mary’s relentless advocacy and groundbreaking work for minority health and women.

A testament to her impact, A Magazine: Inside Asian America heralded Mary as “One of the 100 Most Pivotal Asians of the Decade.” Ladies’ Home Journal celebrated her as one of their “Women to Watch.” The American Red Cross and the California Medical Association have both honored Mary as “Legislator of the Year.” And further acknowledgments of her contributions include the Distinguished Public Service Award from the Alameda County Democratic Lawyers Club and the Above and Beyond Award conferred by the California Dental Association.

Mary earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Economics from the University of San Francisco, followed by a Master in Business Administration degree from Golden Gate University.


work with mary

In the vanguard of healthcare, public policy, diversity and equality, Mary Hayashi’s leadership transcends the standard definition of a public affairs consultant. A proven strategist, trusted advisor, staunch reformer, and passionate champion of underserved communities, Mary has spent over 30 years forging transformative alliances and pioneering meaningful change.