Cynthia A. Telles, PhD, has served on the boards of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals i since April 2003. She serves as chair of the Community Health Committee and is a member of the Audit and Compliance Committee and Executive Committee, and serves on the Executive Advisory Board of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Georgia, Inc.
Dr. Telles is the director of the UCLA Hispanic Neuropsychiatric Center of Excellence at the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, and clinical professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, Department of Psychiatry. The HNCE consists of a multidisciplinary team dedicated to developing best practice models of clinical service, training, and research focused on the delivery of culturally and linguistically proficient services that address the unique mental health needs of the Hispanic/Latino community.
Dr. Telles has extensive experience serving on nonprofit, corporate, and governmental boards. She served as chair of the board of both the California Community Foundation and The California Endowment. Currently, she is a board member of the National Alliance for Hispanic Health; MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund); the Pacific Council on International Policy; LA2028 (Olympic and Paralympic Committees); and the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County. She is a founding member of the Public Policy Institute of California and previously served on the boards of General Motors Co., Sanwa Bank, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation, and Americas United Bank.
Dr. Telles was appointed by former President Barack Obama to the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars (2010–2017) and by Mayor Eric Garcetti to the Los Angeles World Airports Commission (2013–present). She formerly served on the Mental Health Task Force for the Carter Center in Atlanta, Georgia, on the National Advisory Council to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (Department of Health and Human Services) during the Clinton administration, and as chair of the board of the National Coalition of Hispanic Health and Human Services Organizations in Washington, D.C. In addition, Dr. Telles has served 18 years as commissioner of the City of Los Angeles, including serving as vice president of the City of Los Angeles Ethics Commission, vice president of the Los Angeles Board of Library Commissioners, president of the Los Angeles Commission on the Status of Women, and as a member of the Los Angeles Commission on Children, Youth, and Their Families. In 2019, Dr. Telles was appointed by Mayor Garcetti to MEXLA, where she serves as chair of the U.S. section of this bilateral commission between Mexico and Los Angeles, which promotes cross-border collaboration across diverse sectors.
Dr. Telles received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Smith College and doctorate degree in clinical psychology from Boston University. She has published extensively in the area of mental health, particularly with respect to the socioculturally proficient assessment and treatment of Hispanics and psychiatric epidemiology of underserved populations.