LOS ANGELES, JANUARY 8, 2014 – Jarrett Barrios has been named Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region, it was announced today by Martin Cozyn, Board Chair of the Region. Barrios currently serves as CEO of the American Red Cross of Massachusetts until he begins his new position in Los Angeles on March 3, 2014.
During his tenure at the American Red Cross of Massachusetts, Barrios expanded service delivery for fire victims, for active duty military and veterans, and in the food and nutrition programs for the hungry and homeless. He successfully engaged greater numbers of volunteers, including more youth and members from more diverse communities. Barrios has also strengthened the Red Cross’ links with civic and corporate partners to help grow the organization’s reach and base of support. His outstanding work earned him the 2014 American Red Cross Presidential Award for Excellence, a prestigious recognition awarded to Red Cross volunteers and staff who demonstrate superior job performance aligning with the organization’s priorities.
“We are delighted to welcome Jarrett to the second largest Red Cross region in the United States, and one of the country’s most diverse and vulnerable to disaster,” Cozyn said. “His leadership in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings stands as a great testament to his ability. His drive and commitment to the humanitarian values of the American Red Cross will help the Los Angeles Region continue to build communities that are better equipped to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters, large and small.”
Barrios said: “I first began my service with the Red Cross as a board member in Massachusetts in 2003 while chairing the State Senate’s Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security. I’m excited now to start my next chapter of Red Cross service in Los Angeles.” Barrios, who is Cuban-American, stressed the particular importance of supporting all of the diverse communities in the Los Angeles Region. “Whether we’re sending a volunteer disaster action team to a house fire in the Antelope Valley, leading an earthquake preparedness class in Koreatown, or helping Filipino-Americans connect with family in typhoon-stricken Philippines, our commitment has always been to serve anyone in need. Our continuing Red Cross challenge is to make that commitment mean something.”
Barrios graduated from Harvard College and Georgetown University Law Center, practiced law at Hill & Barlow where he was named one of Boston’s “40 under 40”. He was elected to the Massachusetts House of Representatives in 1999, and then to the Massachusetts State Senate in 2002. In the House, he authored legislation ranging from a law mandating interpreter services in hospital emergency rooms to creating a state low-income housing tax credit. In the Senate, Barrios led the first comprehensive rewrite of the state fire code in the wake of the 2003 Station Nightclub fire; the strongest “buffer zone” legislation in the country to protect women’s health centers; a permanent statewide assault weapons ban, as well as the gang-prevention “Shannon Grant” program for municipalities, and a range of measures to protect victims of domestic violence. Barrios was also a Senate leader in protecting marriage equality from being sent to the ballot after the landmark 2003 Goodridge decision. He founded Massachusetts’ first statewide Latino political organization, Oiste, and was named “National Legislator of the Year” by the Service Employees Industrial Union in 2004.
Upon leaving the legislature, he served as the president and CEO of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation and GLAAD before joining Red Cross in 2011.
He has two children, Javier, 22, and Nathaniel, 17, and has served on the boards of Families U.S.A. in Washington, DC, the National Conference of Hispanic State Legislators, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund in New York City, and the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center in Boston.
About The American Red Cross Los Angeles Region
A volunteer-led humanitarian organization, the American Red Cross Los Angeles Region helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Serving more than 88 cities, the Red Cross provides relief for victims of house and apartment fires, earthquakes, floods, hazardous material spills, transportation accidents, explosions and other natural or man-made disasters — 24 hours a day. Last year, nearly 160,000 people were trained in vital life-saving skills, including CPR and first aid. For more information, please visit www.RedCrossLA.org or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.