Jarrett Barrios serves as the Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross Los Angeles. Leading a team of talented humanitarians to provide care and comfort to those afflicted by disasters – large and small – he also works to “disrupt” traditional preparedness training, and to develop and implement preparedness campaigns that measurably motivate Angelenos to take actions in advance of disaster to protect themselves, their families and their neighbors. The span of ARCLA’s mission includes, as well, services and youth and community engagement efforts; this portfolio builds on his prior role as the chief executive of the Massachusetts Red Cross. For his transformational leadership in Massachusetts, he was awarded the American Red Cross Presidential Award for Excellence in 2014.
Barrios is an honors graduate from Harvard College (AB ’90-’91) and Georgetown Law (’95), and practiced law at Hill & Barlow before beginning his public service in 1999, first as a Massachusetts State Representative for four years, then a State Senator for five years. In the Senate, he chaired the Public Safety & Homeland Security Committee and was the Vice Chair of the Health Care Committee. In the House, he authored a broad range of legislation from a law to improve emergency room services for immigrants to the creation of state low-income housing tax credit. In the state Senate, Barrios led the first comprehensive rewrite of the state fire code in the wake of the Station Nightclub fire, the strongest “buffer zone” legislation in the country to protect women’s health centers, a statewide assault weapons ban, as well as authoring foreclosure prevention bills, consumer data privacy and protection legislation, a witness protection law, the gang-prevention “Shannon Grant” anti-youth violence grant program and legislation to protect victims of domestic violence. During this period, he founded the Massachusetts statewide Latino political group, Oíste, and the Commonwealth Legislative Seminar to promote the engagement of racial and ethnic minorities in politics.
Upon leaving the legislature, he served as the president and CEO of the Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts Foundation in Boston and of GLAAD in New York and Los Angeles.He currently serves on the boards of directors of the Massachusetts Center for Budget and Policy Priorities, the Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Preservation of Affordable Housing, Inc. in Boston and the Latino Legacy Fund in Boston. Along the way, he has lectured on transnational gang violence in El Salvador, represented the United States in a delegation to Australia with the American Council of Young Political Leaders, counted hanging chads in the disputed presidential election of 2000, toured Mexico to train university students of American political process on behalf of the State Department, studied the public health systems and lectured on U.S. health reform in Brazil as an Eisenhower Fellow. He currently participates in the inaugural cohort of the Presidio Institute’s Cross Sector Leadership Fellows in partnership with the White House Office on Social Innovation. He speaks Spanish and is proficient in Portuguese, and for twenty years, has engaged in licensed humanitarian efforts in Cuba.
Mr. Barrios was appointed to the Commission by and represents the First Supervisorial District.