Michelle Natividad

Chief of Programs

Berkeley, California Office

Areas of Expertise

Civil Rights • Criminal Records and Employment • Enforcement of Workplace Standards • Workplace Equity


Michelle Natividad Rodriguez, NELP’s chief of programs, joined NELP in 2010. Michelle is a member of NELP’s executive management team and she works with the deputy chief of programs to oversee the general management of all program areas, including strategy, planning, implementation and evaluation, to support more effective and strategic wins. Prior to her management role, Michelle focused on fair chance employment for people with arrest and conviction records for seven years. Michelle is a well-respected advocate who has provided in-depth legal and policy analysis and expert technical assistance; support crafting viable policies in light of legal restrictions; and capacity-building through public education and authoring policy reports and outreach materials.

She has co-developed communications strategies with partners, leveraging earned media and social media. She has participated in radio and news segments, such as for Al Jazeera America, and been quoted for her expertise in prominent news sources such as ABCNews, CBSNews, Chicago Tribune, Los Angeles Times, NPR, and The Wall Street Journal. In addition, she has written for the Huffington Post, Fortune.com, and other outlets. Michelle has testified before diverse state and local governing bodies, provided dozens of worker and advocate trainings, and participated in numerous panels.

Before joining NELP in 2010, Michelle spent seven years at a non-profit legal advocacy organization where she litigated employment and education equity issues and advocated for local and state policy changes to improve the lives of low-income families and communities of color. Since 2007, she has been a board member of Common Counsel Foundation, which supports community-based organizations building the leadership of low-income people, women, youth, people of color and others working for justice, equity, and a healthy, sustainable environment.


J.D., Columbia Law School
B.A., The University of Texas at Austin
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