Los Angeles, CA —— Southern California native Gabriel Sanchez has been selected as Director of Communications and Marketing at First 5 LA. This position was previously known as Director of Public Affairs. As the principal communications and marketing strategist for the organization, Sanchez will lead a department of 12 to spearhead communications, media, social marketing, public education, advertising, digital and social media, sponsorships and related activities for First 5 LA’s ongoing work to support young children and their parents across Los Angeles County.

Sanchez comes to First 5 LA from Green Dot Public Schools, where he has served as communications director since March 2012. Previously, he was a senior strategist with The Strategy Group in Pasadena and an independent communications consultant in Orange County, serving a range of corporate, labor and political clients. Sanchez also has served in top communications roles in the offices of then-Governor Gray Davis and then-Assembly Speaker Fabian Núñez.

“In addition to his education sector work, Gabriel brings extensive experience in public sector communications and marketing both locally and across the state,” said First 5 LA Executive Director Kim Belshé. “We look forward to benefitting from his understanding of the strengths and challenges inherent in our work, along with his strategic expertise and strong values. I am very excited to have him join the First 5 LA team.”

“I am looking forward to helping families connect with First 5 LA’s mission of every child entering kindergarten ready to succeed in school and in life,” said Sanchez. “As a parent, I see the critical need of making information and resources available to help those raising young children make the best choices possible. I plan to build upon the work of my new colleagues as well as the organizations, parents, community members and others who have partnered with First 5 LA in supporting our future, LA County’s youngest residents.”

Sanchez is a graduate of California State University Fullerton with a bachelor’s degree in political science and Chicano studies. He is in the process of completing a master’s degree in political science from Suffolk University in Boston, MA. He also is a graduate of the MALDEF Leadership Development Program, and Cal State Fullerton’s Leadership Institute.