Cynthia Telles has served on the boards of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan, Inc. and Kaiser Foundation Hospitals since April 2003. She serves as chair of the Community Benefit Committee and is a member of the Audit and Compliance Committee and Executive Committee, and serves on the Executive Advisory Board of Kaiser Foundation Health Plan of Georgia, Inc.
Telles is the director of the University of California, Los Angeles Spanish-Speaking Psychosocial Clinic at the Neuropsychiatric Institute and Hospital, and clinical professor of the UCLA School of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry. The SSPC provides training in the provision of socio-culturally competent, comprehensive mental-health services to the rapidly growing and underserved Latino community.
Telles is Chair Emeritus of the California Community Foundation. She also serves on the boards of Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, the National Alliance for Hispanic Health, the Pacific Council on International Policy (a non-partisan international affairs organization), and the Performing Arts Center of Los Angeles County. She is a founding board member of the Public Policy Institute of California, and previously served on the boards of the California Endowment (as board chair from 2004-2006 and vice chair 2002-2004), General Motors Co., Sanwa Bank/United California Bank, Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corp. and Americas United Bank.
Telles was appointed by President Obama to the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars, and by Mayor Eric Garcetti to the Los Angeles World Airports Commission. She formerly served on the Mental Health Task Force for the Carter Center in Atlanta, on the National Advisory Council to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (Department of Health and Human Services) during the Clinton Administration, and as board chair of the National Coalition of Hispanic Health and Human Service Organizations in Washington, D.C. In addition, Telles served for over 15 years as commissioner of the city of Los Angeles, including serving as vice president of the City of Los Angeles Ethics Commission, vice president of the Los Angeles Board of Library Commissioners, president of the Los Angeles Commission on the Status of Women, and as a member of the Los Angeles Commission on Children, Youth and Families.
Telles received a bachelor of arts degree from Smith College and a doctorate degree in clinical psychology from Boston University. She has published extensively in the area of mental health, particularly with respect to the socio-culturally proficient assessment and treatment of Hispanics and psychiatric epidemiology of underserved populations.