Sonia Melara is the Executive Director of Rally Family Visitation Services of Saint Francis Memorial Hospital, and also serves as faculty at San Francisco State University’s School of Social Work. Ms. Melara brings over 30 years’ experience in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors. Previously, she was Executive Director of the San Francisco Department on the Status of Women, where she implemented major initiatives on domestic violence funding for prevention, education, and transitional services. She was also Founder and President of the Hispanic Yellow Pages and served as National Director of Leadership Programs at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund (MALDEF)
Under President Carter, Ms. Melara was appointed to the National Advisory Commission on Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. She has served on a variety of the boards, including the San Francisco Chamber of Commerce, the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau and On Lok. In her civic life, she has served under six San Francisco Mayors, most recently as a member of the Commission on the Status of Women. Additionally, she was member of the San Francisco Police Commission, member and president of the Parking and Traffic Commission, the Immigrant Rights Commission, and the San Francisco Health Commission. Ms. Melara is co-founder of California’s first shelter for survivors of domestic violence, La Casa De Las Madres, as well as one of founders of La Cocina, a business incubator for low-income women who want to start their business in the food industry.
Ms. Melara holds a Bachelor of Arts and Masters degree in Social Work from San Francisco State University. In 1995 she was inducted into San Francisco State University Alumni Wall of Fame.