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Fabiola Carrión

National Health Law Program

United States

Fabiola is the Director of Sexual and Reproductive Health at the National Health Law Program, where she advocates for the health rights of low-income and underserved individuals. As an attorney, Fabiola advocates for better laws that enable access to high quality, equitable health care so that everyone can achieve their own highest attainable standard of health. Fabiola seeks the support of the WLW fellowship and network to maximize the impact of her team and the wider organization so that each person in the United States has the health care resources to flourish and thrive.

Fabiola Carrión


What is your story?

What drives your work?

I was born in Peru and lived there until the age of 13. My childhood was marked by my country’s civil war, which disappeared almost 100,000 people as well as raped and forcibly sterilized Indigenous women. From an early age, I was politically conscious and intellectually curious - always asking the why and how we can make things better. My penchant for social justice did not dissipate when I arrived in the United States. The year I moved to the U.S. an anti-immigrant initiative was passed in my adopted state of California. Once again, I encountered a cultural reckoning and overt discrimination because of my ethnicity. Moreover, I had unstable immigration status and had limited access to health care. I studied Political Science and Latin American studies in college to make sense of the events that shaped my upbringing. After college, I was selected as a public policy fellow of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, which solidified my passion for influencing and shaping policy. I have worked in several national and international human rights organizations since finishing law school and my focus has always been to advance the interests of those who are systematically marginalized. My current job involves developing and implementing policies that improve access to health care for low-income individuals, primarily women. I have come full circle in working in policies for people who were once me or could have been me.

Describe your biggest strength as a leader

I have been fortunate to have received both face-to-face as well as written comprehensive feedback on my leadership style. In these evaluations, most people have described me as hardworking, energetic, and passionate. I have also learned that I am a charismatic leader and that I can inspire people with my convictions and my hard work. I try to model the behavior I wish to see from my colleagues - giving everyone respect, acknowledging their efforts, and sharing joy whenever it is appropriate.

Describe your biggest challenge as a leader

I feel deeply about the things that are important to me and I transmit that energy to those who surround me. Sometimes this means that my team may sense when I am frustrated or stressed out. I am trying to become more aware of my feelings and be intentional about how I enter into a shared space. My meditation and breathing practices have helped me in this journey.

About the
and the Project.



Vision & Mission

Vision: The National Health Law Program envisions a society where everyone has access to quality health care, people are able to achieve their own highest attainable standard of health, and each person has all they need to flourish and thrive.

Mission: NHeLP is seeking to ensure that every person living in a U.S. state, district, or territory can access health care through an enforceable, comprehensive, federal health care entitlement program that: affirmatively and measurably ensures access to culturally and linguistically appropriate, person-centered, quality health care services that ameliorate the health-related impacts of structural discrimination, biases, and barriers to care; and that works in coordination with other well-resourced and separately funded programs to address intersecting social needs that impact health.

Year Founded


No. of Employees


Years in the Organization

7 years

Annual Budget (USD)


Geographical Area Served

United States

Organizational /

Project Description

My organization is restructuring its management team to welcome the leaders of newly created departments. The restructure was created to open leadership opportunities and encourage collaboration between various departments. I hope to work with these new departments by designing and executing new processes that allow easy and ongoing communication as well as seamless collaboration. Historically, my department has been siloed from other work done in my organization so this new structure offers an opportunity for better integration of sexual and reproductive health with other health care issues. My project’s goals will be the following:
(1) Cultivate collaboration between my department and other departments;
(2) Improve the flow of communication between departments and across the organization;
(3) Reach alignment with other departments’ goals;
(4) Secure fundraising opportunities when my department and others identify joint projects.

Why is this project important and timely?

What is the target population of your project? 

The immediate population my project will serve will be my organization’s staff, who will be better equipped to work together. Successful implementation will mean that we will all work collaboratively and strategically to achieve common goals. Consequently, we will maximize our impact, meaning that more marginalized populations will be better served by the new policies we advance.

How will you know that you have achieved that impact? What data will you use to assess your impact?

We will have seamless communications between the different departments. We will look at our work plans a year from now and check whether we have accomplished our goals that altogether produce a bolder vision for our organization. We would have also secured funding for these efforts, resulting in better policies that support the reproductive and sexual health care needs of marginalized populations.

How do you anticipate this unique leadership education impacting you personally? What new skills are you hoping too develop & grow through this experience?

I am hoping to improve how I collaborate with other leaders so that we can advance shared goals. I would like to learn how to create processes that lead to efficient and effective cooperation as well as good communication. More than anything, I am excited about expanding my network and learning new leadership tools, skills, and practices from other fellows, coaches, and advisors.

Where would you like to see yourself professionally in the next 3 years?

I am really interested in joining this fellowship because it sets me up with the infrastructure and tools to become a deputy director in my organization and have more say in its overall objectives.

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