Michelle Natividad Rodriguez

Chief of Programs


Michelle Natividad Rodriguez, NELP’s chief of programs, joined NELP in 2010. Michelle is a member of NELP’s executive management team and she works with the deputy chief of programs to oversee the general management of all program areas, including strategy, planning, implementation, and evaluation, to support more effective and strategic wins. She has been a leader in NELP’s efforts to center racial equity internally and programmatically.

Prior to her management role, Michelle focused on fair chance employment for people with arrest and conviction records for seven years. Michelle is a well-respected advocate who has provided in-depth legal and policy analysis and expert technical assistance; support crafting viable policies in light of legal restrictions; and capacity-building through public education and authoring policy reports and outreach materials.

She has co-developed communications strategies with partners, leveraging earned media and social media. She has participated in radio and news segments, such as for Al Jazeera America, and been quoted for her expertise in prominent news sources such as ABC News, CBS News, and NPR. Michelle has testified before diverse state and local governing bodies, provided dozens of worker and advocate trainings, and participated in numerous panels.

Before joining NELP, Michelle spent seven years at a non-profit legal advocacy organization where she litigated employment and education equity issues, and advocated for policy reform to support thriving communities of color. Since 2007, she has been a board member of Common Counsel Foundation, which supports community-based organizations building the leadership of people of color and others working for justice, equity, and a healthy, sustainable environment. In 2020, she joined the board of the East Bay Community Law Center, a legal services and policy advocacy non-profit that promotes justice and builds community.


J.D., Columbia Law School
B.A., The University of Texas at Austin

Newsroom Stories by Michelle

All news

Meet More of Our Team

Learn more about our team of policy experts, lawyers, researchers, advocates, and staff committed to building a good-jobs economy.

Our Staff & Board