Xóchitl Castañeda has been the Director of Health Initiative of the Americas, at the School of Public Health, University of California Berkeley, since 2001. A medical anthropologist by training, Xóchitl was educated in Guatemala and Mexico. She did a post-doctoral fellowship in reproductive health at the University of California, San Francisco. She also received training in social science and medicine at Harvard University and at Amsterdam University.
For over seven years, she was a Professor of Public Health Sciences and a P.I. Researcher at Mexico’s National Institute of Public Health, where she directed the Department of Reproductive Health. In 1999, she received the National Research Award on Social Science and Medicine. In 2010, the California Latino Legislative Caucus awarded her with the National Spirit Award for her leadership in initiatives to improve the quality of life of Latino immigrants in the U.S. Xóchitl has published over 150 manuscripts and has served as a consultant for more than 30 national and international institutions.