Silvia Paz is a longtime resident of Thermal and a proud alumna of Coachella Valley High School. She received her B.A. in English from the University of San Diego and holds a Master’s in Public Policy from the Harvard University Kennedy School of Government with a concentration in Housing, Urban Economic Development, and Transportation.
With over 18 years of experience organizing and facilitating dialogue between constituents and decision makers, Silvia founded Alianza Coachella Valley as a non-profit alliance of residents and non-governmental organizations working at the intersection of community engagement and policy development. Throughout her career, this approach has led to the transformation of communities and systems alike; from the building of the first medical clinic in the community of Mecca, to the creation of Common Spaces at Harvard University, and the establishment of the Enhanced Infrastructure Financing District (EIFD) in the eastern Coachella Valley. Silvia is dedicated to improving the communities she calls home, and has served in various volunteer, appointed, and elected positions. In 2021, she was appointed by California Governor Gavin Newsom to the Blue Ribbon Commission on the Extraction of Lithium, where she served as Chair.
Prior to founding Alianza, Silvia was a high school teacher at Coachella Valley High School. She was also a fellow at the Harvard University Planning Office and a senior policy analyst in the office of Assemblymember V. Manuel Perez. When she is not working, Silvia loves spending time in nature. Whether it’s training for a half marathon with her husband, hiking with her family, or taking a vacation in Sedona, Silvia can often be found outdoors.