Dr. Julie Martinez-Ortega

(Health Fellows & Scholars)
Director of Research
Washington, District of Columbia
United States

Focus Areas

Community & Civic Engagement
Economic Security
Economic Development
Policy & Education
Public Health & Safety
Social Justice
Civil Rights
Gender Issues
Immigration & Border Issues
Social Justice


Before joining PowerPAC.org, Julie served as Research Director for American Rights at Work, the nation’s leading workers’ rights advocacy and research organization, where she developed and led the policy research program and served as a member of the senior management team. She held this position since the organization’s founding in 2004. She led staff, outside partners, and consultants to provide analysis and technical assistance on a wide variety of legislative, legal, and research matters relating to workers’ rights. Previously, Dr. Martínez Ortega was a Kerr White Visiting Scholar in the Center for Finance, Cost, and Access at the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, where her research focused on cost and finance issues related to health insurance for low-income families, Latinos, and children. Dr. Martínez Ortega has taught undergraduate and graduate level courses at College of the Holy Cross and Clark University. As an associate with the Los Angeles civil rights litigation firm Hadsell & Stormer, Inc., she served as co-counsel on a number of high profile civil rights cases, including the El Monte, CA garment workers’ sweatshop case, the appeal of a groundbreaking $17.7 million sex discrimination suit against Texaco, and the Riverside County, CA chase and subsequent beatings of suspected immigrants by members of the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department. Before attending law school, Julie worked on Capitol Hill as a Special Assistant to Senator Alan Cranston. Dr. Martínez Ortega is an editorial board member of the Labor Studies Journal, and has served as a board member of the National Labor and Employment Relations Association and President of its DC Chapter. She is an Independent Labor Rights Expert on the Workers’ Rights Consortium Advisory Council, United Association of Labor Educators, the American Public Health Association, and the Kellogg Foundation Fellows Leadership Alliance. Dr. Martínez Ortega serves as a member of the Board of Directors at Mary’s Center, the leading social service agency and federally qualified health center serving the DC immigrant population, and serves on the board of Progressive Majority. Dr. Martínez Ortega is a graduate of Stanford University, the University of California-Los Angeles School of Law, and earned her Ph.D. at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. She is a member of the California Bar.