Principal and Founder, López Consulting
Former Director of Health & Public Services, Accenture North America
Former Commissioner, Administration on Children, Youth and Families at the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services
Former Senior Policy Advisor, The White House
Rafael López is principal and founder of López Consulting, where he collaborates with social sector organizations to catalyze results for the people these organizations serve. From 2017 to 2019, Rafael was a managing director and the human services industry lead for Accenture’s Health & Public Service practice in North America, where he partnered with decision makers in government, education, and nonprofit organizations to leverage technology to improve services and mission effectiveness.
Previously, Rafael served as the commissioner of the Administration on Children, Youth and Families at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, a role to which he was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the United States Senate. As commissioner, he also served as the acting associate commissioner of the United States Children’s Bureau and acting associate commissioner for the Family and Youth Services Bureau. Immediately prior to his confirmation, Rafael served as a senior policy advisor at the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and with the Domestic Policy Council.
Rafael has dedicated his career to improving the lives of children, youth, and families and previously served in a variety of leadership roles at the city, county, and state levels. Prior to his service at the White House, Rafael was an associate director at the Annie E. Casey Foundation, a private, national philanthropy devoted to developing a brighter future for millions of children at risk of poor educational, economic, social, and health outcomes. Previously, Rafael served as the president and CEO of The Family League of Baltimore City, Inc., where he was a member of the Baltimore City Mayor’s Cabinet. From 2006 to 2009, Rafael was appointed by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa to serve on his Cabinet as the executive director of the City of Los Angeles Commission for Children, Youth and Their Families. Rafael previously served as the deputy director of the City and County of San Francisco Department of Children, Youth, and Their Families and as senior deputy for health and human services for Los Angeles County Supervisor Gloria Molina. From 1999 to 2004, Rafael served as the founding executive director of First 5 Santa Cruz County, where he launched the countywide implementation of the California Children and Families First Act-Proposition 10 and led innovative efforts to expand and create programs and services in health, early care and education, and family strengthening. His efforts included the creation of one of California’s first comprehensive health coverage programs for all Santa Cruz County children.
In 1999, Rafael became the youngest person in the city’s history to serve on the Watsonville City Council, where he led neighborhood-based efforts to civically engage youth and immigrant families in the development of city services. He has worked closely with community-based organizations as a volunteer, manager, executive, board member, and founder, and was sponsored by the David and Lucile Packard Foundation to serve as a fellow at Stanford University’s Center for Social Innovation at the Graduate School of Business Executive Program for Nonprofit Leaders. Rafael was awarded a 2007-2008 Annie E. Casey Foundation Children and Family National Fellowship. Rafael also serves as a member of the Boards of Directors of Foster America.
Rafael is an alumnus of Vassar College and a graduate of the University of California Santa Cruz where he earned his Bachelor of Arts with honors. He is a graduate of Harvard University’s John F. Kennedy School of Government where he earned a Master in Public Administration and was named a Lucius N. Littauer Fellow.