Elizabeth Echols has a long record of public and community service. She has distinguished herself as a successful advocate for educational opportunity, job creation, and the environment. Elizabeth currently serves as Regional Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA)...Read more
Elizabeth Echols has a long record of public and community service. She has distinguished herself as a successful advocate for educational opportunity, job creation, and the environment. Elizabeth currently serves as Regional Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) appointed by President Barack Obama. She also serves as Senior Advisor on Clean Tech and Energy Efficiency Initiatives and as a member of the White House Business Council. She previously served as a member of the Obama-Biden Transition Team.
Elizabeth oversees SBA’s programs, services, and over 100 employees throughout the western region of the United States including California, Nevada, Arizona, Hawaii, Guam and the other U.S. territories in the Pacific. In this role, she helps small business owners and entrepreneurs create high quality jobs by providing access to financing, business training, and federal contracts. Her focus is on connecting communities of color, women, youth, and emerging environmental entrepreneurs with the resources they need to start or grow a business. Over the last three fiscal years, her region has backed more than 28,000 loans worth over $12 billion.
Prior to joining the SBA, she served as Director of the U.S. Green Building Council Northern California Chapter, where she built alliances with state leaders, clean tech companies, labor and environmental groups to protect the environment and create green jobs. Previously, Elizabeth served as Director of Policy at Google, where she developed and managed the global e-commerce and content policy framework for over 40 Google consumer and business products.
Elizabeth is dedicated to creating educational and employment opportunities for underserved youth. She served as CEO of OpNet Community Ventures, a nationally recognized non-profit that successfully prepared low-income young adults for good jobs in the technology industry and helped them start their own web design businesses. She also has worked to develop after school programs to interest more girls and minority students in math and science.
Elizabeth previously held several senior political appointments in the Clinton Administration. She served as the first Executive Director of the White House Electronic Commerce Working Group under Vice President Al Gore, where she was at the forefront of developing and coordinating the Clinton Administration’s strategy on global Internet and e-commerce issues. In this role, she helped create a partnership among over 50 leading high-tech companies, foundations, and non-governmental organizations who committed resources valued at over $20 million to bridge the global digital divide.
She has served as an elected member of the Alameda County Democratic Central Committee and a delegate to the Democratic State Central Committee since 2006. Elizabeth co-chaired the 2008 United Democratic Campaign in Oakland recruiting over 800 volunteers and achieving success for 14 out of 15 endorsed candidates. Elizabeth is an Executive Board Member of the local National Women’s Political Caucus and Board Member of the Alameda County Democratic Lawyers. She is a graduate of the Emerge training program for women Democratic leaders.
Elizabeth grew up in Berkeley and attended public schools beginning with what is now Rosa Parks Elementary School, where she worked in the school cafeteria in exchange for lunch. Elizabeth attended Yale University on scholarships and graduated with honors with a BA in Economics and Political Science. She put herself through Stanford Law School with the help of loans and financial aid where she served as an editor on the Stanford Law Review.
Elizabeth has been recognized as a “Mover and Shaker” by Business Week, and received the Gold Medal Award, the highest honor presented by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. She has been profiled in numerous publications, including The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Oakland Tribune, San Diego Union-Tribune, Wired Magazine, The National Journal, and Working Women Magazine.Read Less