Learn more about our policy experts.

Media Contacts

Angela Bradbery, Director of Communications
w. (202) 588-7741
c. (202) 503-6768
abradbery@citizen.org, Twitter

Don Owens, Deputy Director of Communications
w. (202) 588-7767

Karilyn Gower, Press Officer
w. (202) 588-7779

David Rosen, Press Officer, Regulatory Affairs
w. (202) 588-7742

Nicholas Florko, Communications Officer, Global Trade Watch
w. (202) 454-5108

Other Important Links

Press Release Database
Citizen Vox blog
Texas Vox blog
Consumer Law and Policy blog
Energy Vox blog
Eyes on Trade blog

Follow us on Twitter


Dec. 6, 2012
Prominent San Francisco-Area Consumer Lawyer Named Chair of Public Citizen Foundation Board

Mark A. Chavez Has Long History of Public Interest Advocacy

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Public interest advocate and prominent San Francisco-area consumer lawyer Mark A. Chavez has been named chair of the board of directors of Public Citizen Foundation.

Chavez, who has served on the Public Citizen Foundation board since 2009, is a partner in the law firm of Chavez & Gertler LLP, of Mill Valley, Calif., which he co-founded in 1994. The firm’s attorneys represent plaintiffs in consumer, employment and civil rights class actions.

Chavez has long been passionate about public interest work. At Stanford Law School, he was a co-founder and the first managing editor of the Stanford Environmental Law Journal and a founding member of the Stanford Public Interest Law Foundation.

Chavez was one of the eight founders of the National Association of Consumer Advocates and is its former co-chair. He serves on the boards of the National Consumer Law Center and Disability Rights Advocates and is a former member of the boards of the Consumer Attorneys of California, the Stanford Public Interest Law Foundation and the Public Justice Foundation.

So it was a natural fit for Chavez to join Public Citizen’s board, said Robert Weissman, Public Citizen president. Public Citizen is a national, nonprofit consumer advocacy organization that represents the public interest in the halls of power. With more than 300,000 members and supporters nationwide, Public Citizen advocates for good government, a strong regulatory system, a clean and sustainable environment, affordable and safe health care, citizen access to the courts, corporate accountability in the trade arena and more.

“Mark Chavez’s passion for justice and strategic advocacy smarts make him the perfect person to chair Public Citizen Foundation’s board,” Weissman said. “We're excited about the leadership role he will play for the organization.”

Added Chavez, “I am honored to chair the board of one of the most effective public interest organizations in the country. I look forward to helping Public Citizen build upon and expand its unparalleled record of accomplishments over the past 40 years.”

Chavez joined the Civil Division of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C., after graduating from law school in 1979. Prior to entering private practice, he spent three years representing executive branch agencies and the U.S. in labor, employment, housing and national security cases filed in federal courts around the country. Chavez has been named a “Northern California Super Lawyer” six times, has received the Champion of Justice Award from the Bar Association of San Francisco and has been named a Guardian of Justice by Bay Area Legal Aid. 

Copyright © 2016 Public Citizen. Some rights reserved. Non-commercial use of text and images in which Public Citizen holds the copyright is permitted, with attribution, under the terms and conditions of a Creative Commons License. This Web site is shared by Public Citizen Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation. Learn More about the distinction between these two components of Public Citizen.

Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation


Together, two separate corporate entities called Public Citizen, Inc. and Public Citizen Foundation, Inc., form Public Citizen. Both entities are part of the same overall organization, and this Web site refers to the two organizations collectively as Public Citizen.

Although the work of the two components overlaps, some activities are done by one component and not the other. The primary distinction is with respect to lobbying activity. Public Citizen, Inc., an IRS § 501(c)(4) entity, lobbies Congress to advance Public Citizen’s mission of protecting public health and safety, advancing government transparency, and urging corporate accountability. Public Citizen Foundation, however, is an IRS § 501(c)(3) organization. Accordingly, its ability to engage in lobbying is limited by federal law, but it may receive donations that are tax-deductible by the contributor. Public Citizen Inc. does most of the lobbying activity discussed on the Public Citizen Web site. Public Citizen Foundation performs most of the litigation and education activities discussed on the Web site.

You may make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., Public Citizen Foundation, or both. Contributions to both organizations are used to support our public interest work. However, each Public Citizen component will use only the funds contributed directly to it to carry out the activities it conducts as part of Public Citizen’s mission. Only gifts to the Foundation are tax-deductible. Individuals who want to join Public Citizen should make a contribution to Public Citizen, Inc., which will not be tax deductible.


To become a member of Public Citizen, click here.
To become a member and make an additional tax-deductible donation to Public Citizen Foundation, click here.