Melany de la Cruz-Viesca, is the Associate Director of the UCLA Asian American Studies Center (AASC) and the Managing Editor of AAPI Nexus, a nationwide journal focusing on Asian American Pacific Islander (AAPI) policy, practice, and community issues. She also serves as the Director of the AAPI Community Development Census Information Center, a joint partnership between AASC and the U.S. Census Bureau. She is the lead author of "The Color of Wealth in Los Angeles," which is the first report examining the racial wealth gap in Los Angeles (Download report at: http://www.aasc.ucla.edu/besol/).
Her research focuses on racial stratification, demographics, and public policy issues in the United States. She specializes in examining the experiences of Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islanders in relation to wealth inequities, housing, community economic development, and education. She has eighteen years of experience in providing training and technical expertise on using census data, developing articles, fact sheets and reports on AAPI communities, to support programs, services, and advocacy efforts by community-based organizations serving vulnerable populations.
She is the Chair of the Closing the Women's Wealth Gap Research Working Group, a member of the Liberation in a Generation's Economic Justice Advocates of Color, and a member of the Insight Center for Community Economic Development's Experts of Color Network. She was appointed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa in 2008 and re-appointed by Mayor Eric Garcetti to the City's Human Relations Commission. She holds a master's degree in urban planning from UCLA and a bachelor's degree in ethnic studies and urban studies and planning from UC San Diego.