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Clara Chiu-Torres

Chief Development Director

Clara Chiu-Torres is the Chief Development Director for Legal Aid Foundation of Los Angeles (LAFLA). Clara is a seasoned fundraising and communications professional and enjoys working with donors to express their philanthropic priorities to help increase resources for a good cause. She is also well known for event planning and production, from large-scale galas and conferences to bespoke donor engagement events.

Clara has extensive experience in both the private and nonprofit sectors. Prior to her current position with LAFLA, Clara worked at AARP Foundation as a Senior Philanthropic Advisor/Development Officer for the West Coast for major gifts and planned giving, and before that, at Asian Americans Advancing Justice Southern California (AJ-SoCal) where she served as Development Officer/Executive Assistant supporting the founding President and Executive Director. At AJ-SoCal, she also supported the Development Department by working on special fund matching campaigns, major donor relationships, and producing events. Clara has also served as the Development Director for the Asian Pacific Community Fund, overseeing fundraising and their Workplace Giving Program. Additionally, she served as the Public Affairs Assistant and Community Benefit Health Specialist at Kaiser Permanente Baldwin Park. She began her nonprofit career with OCA Advocates, one of the country’s oldest Asian Pacific American civil rights organizations, as the Senior Director of Operations and Programming for the Greater Los Angeles chapter. Her early career was spent for many years in sales and marketing with companies such as Coach and Monet Jewelry.

Clara is known in the community as a resourceful, passionate, and energetic volunteer who genuinely loves giving back. Nonprofits who have benefitted from her work include: Asian Youth Center, the UCLA Labor Center; Black Workers Center, the Asian Pacific Women’s Center; the National Association of Asian American Professionals, the Asian Pacific American Annual Toy Drive, YWCA of San Gabriel Valley, Baldwin Park Adult and Community Education, Big Sisters of Los Angeles, and the Alabaster Mobile Clinic. Clara is the past president of Chi Alpha Delta Alumnae at UCLA, our nation’s oldest APA sorority, and currently serves as one of the Tri-Chairs for Asian American Pacific Islanders in Philanthropy (AAPIP) and as the Board President for Great Leap. She is also active with the Association of Fundraising Professionals (AFP) as a recent past Mentee to the Alford Women’s Mentorship program, and is a current First Alternate for the AFP Global Nominating committee and a member of the Distinguished Fellows Selection Committee.

In 2014, California Governor Jerry Brown recognized Chiu’s extensive volunteer experience by appointing her to the State’s Volunteers Commission – CA Volunteers and continues to serve as an ex officio member of the AmeriCorps subcommittee on the commission. Her work has also been recognized with OCA’s 2012 Unsung Hero Award, Bank of America’s 2010 Neighborhood Initiative Local Hero Award, and the Asian Pacific Women’s Center 2005 Volunteer of the Year Award. Clara has been featured as LA 18 KSCI-TV’s Community Role Model. During her decades of service, she has also been instrumental in mentoring numerous future leaders as they serve their internships.

Clara received her B.A. in History from UCLA and resides in San Dimas, CA.