Blue Shield of California Foundation names Maricela Rios-Faust to its board

New member brings deep experience in domestic violence prevention and creating systems change through partnerships

SAN FRANCISCO (Jan. 27, 2023) — Maricela Rios-Faust, chief executive officer of Human Options, which provides education, support, and empowerment to those affected by relationship violence in Orange County, has been appointed to Blue Shield of California Foundation’s Board of Trustees. As part of the nine-person board, Rios-Faust will help guide the Foundation in its mission to make California the healthiest state and end domestic violence. 

Rios-Faust has held senior leadership roles at the nonprofit Human Options since 2006, taking the reins as chief executive officer in 2016. She has a long history of serving on boards of organizations that support families affected by domestic violence, including the Family Violence Appellate Project, where she is currently serving as the board president, and the California Partnership to End Domestic Violence. 

Named one of Orange County’s most influential for her leadership in increasing awareness of health impacts of domestic violence, Rios-Faust’s extensive board experience also includes service to groups working to end homelessness and organizations that promote nonprofit success through partnerships. She also has board experience with educational institutions, including a community college foundation and a pre-K through middle-grade school. 

“Maricela’s leadership, dedication, and deep expertise in domestic violence will strengthen the Foundation’s ongoing work in California,” said Debbie I. Chang, MPH, the Foundation’s president and CEO. “She has a strong track record and a clear understanding that domestic violence is a complex issue that affects more than half of California’s adults. Her work in multiple sectors including government, education, law, and nonprofits contributes a critical perspective about how systems and communities must work together to break the cycle of domestic violence.” 

Rios-Faust is a licensed clinical social worker with a master’s degree in social work from University of Southern California, where she focused on children and families. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology from California State University, Fullerton. 

“Serving on the Foundation’s board is an honor and a way to address root causes of domestic violence and effect change in systems and attitudes that perpetuate domestic violence,” said Rios-Faust. “I look forward to bringing my passion for the prevention of domestic violence to my role on the board.”

Rios-Faust currently serves as chair of the board for County of Orange – Continuum of Care, which focuses on a community-wide commitment to ending homelessness, and on the boards for OneOC and the Coast Community College District Foundation. 

“Maricela’s extensive leadership and governance experience will enrich our work,” said Foundation board chair Kim Belshé. “Her development of public-private partnerships and knowledge of social determinants of health and community mental health round out her extensive qualifications for this role. We are delighted to welcome her to the Foundation’s Board of Trustees.”

Rios-Faust replaces Michael Rodriguez, who left the board in May 2022 upon his appointment as executive director of the California Alliance of Schools and Programs of Public Health.

Blue Shield of California Foundation is an independent, nonprofit organization that is funded entirely by Blue Shield of California. Learn more about Blue Shield of California Foundation and its Board of Trustees here.


About Blue Shield of California Foundation

Blue Shield of California Foundation supports lasting and equitable solutions to make California the healthiest state and end domestic violence. When we work together to remove the barriers to health and well-being, especially for Californians most affected, we can create a more just and equitable future. For more information, visit, sign up for our monthly newsletter Intersections, and please join us on Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.