Teresa Alvarado is one of San José’s most active civic leaders. She is the daughter of Santa Clara County civil rights pioneer and Spanish-language radio announcer, José Alvarado, and former San José Councilwoman and County Supervisor, Blanca Alvarado. A trained engineer, community advocate, committed environmentalist and government reformer, Teresa has served in leadership roles in the public, private and non-profit sectors.
Currently, Teresa is on unpaid leave as Manager of the Office of CEO Support and Communications at the Santa Clara Valley Water District where she has helped to institute district-wide transparency and accountability reforms and developed new outreach efforts so the public has the information they need to voice their concerns and suggestions.
Prior to her service at the water district, Teresa served as CEO of the Hispanic Foundation of Silicon Valley, a non-profit community organization dedicated to providing scholarships to underprivileged youth, preventing childhood obesity and celebrating exemplary families for their dedicated community service.
Teresa began her career at NASA/Ames Research Center, where she specialized in environmental health and safety issues, engaging the community about important wildlife, wetlands and research center operations. Teresa has also worked as an outreach specialist for PG&E’s Solar Schools Program, where she built programs to provide schools with solar panels that helped them save money and energy, and improve their environmental stewardship.
Teresa was born at San José Hospital and raised in East San José, where she attended Most Holy Trinity School. She graduated from Archbishop Mitty High School and earned her bachelor’s degree in Environmental Technology and Management from San José State University and her master’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Tufts University. Teresa is also a graduate of Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government Executive Education Program. She served for more than four years as an appointed member of Envision San José 2040, where she worked to update the city’s master plan for future growth and economic development.
Teresa has been an active community volunteer. She has supported numerous nonprofits by providing services in the areas of education, youth development, the environment, arts, women, economic development, and health care. Teresa is deeply committed to providing young people with the tools they need to succeed, such as early childhood education to promote school readiness in math and science, and programs to prevent teen pregnancy and childhood obesity. She is also dedicated to protecting our environment for future generations.
Teresa lives in Japantown with her husband Jess. She has four siblings, seven nieces and nephews, and two grown stepsons.