Claire de Leon
Claire is a communication strategist and trained public health educator. She is passionate about health equity and racial justice and has focused on both through her career, from managing communications to improve maternal health in California, to conducting community-based participatory research on what residents want from public housing. At Spitfire, Claire is a skilled strategist and tactician, developing compelling messages and campaigns that move audiences to action.
Claire leads work with clients focused on upstream systems change, including Meyer Memorial Trust, Power to Decide, the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, and the National Birth Equity Collaborative. Prior to Spitfire, Claire acted as statewide communications director for a large, public university research initiative, where she developed a strategic communication plan and successfully launched the University of California, San Francisco Preterm Birth Initiative’s website, brand, mission, vision, and messaging platform arm in arm with an active community advisory board. If you want communications to be both current and lasting, you want Claire on your team.
Blending creative pedagogy and advocacy, Claire led a community-facing human-centered design sprint with IDEO.org on how to communicate about adverse birth outcomes through the lens of reproductive justice. Claire secured key earned media placement in elevating the issue of Black women’s disparate maternal mortality rates and adverse birth outcomes in the U.S. At the San Francisco State University (SFSU) Health Equity Institute, she conducted research on emerging media narratives over the Zika epidemic with the international Zika Social Science Network.
Claire cut her teeth as a Development Director for the Y of San Francisco, where she led grassroots campaigns and major donor initiatives. She worked with the Y of the USA to develop its culture and storytelling program and led training for Y’s across the country. Claire also led the redesign and technical launch of the Y of San Francisco’s website. Claire is an experienced event planner and is savvy in developing communication to maximize the impact of events, both in-person and online. From planning communication, operations, and media engagement for a public rally at San Francisco city hall with hundreds in attendance to countless campaign launches, fundraising events, report releases, community engagements, and speaker series’ in between, Claire has a history of ensuring every aspect of milestones include smart communication and thoughtful, highly engaging strategies that land well with the right audience at the right time.
Claire earned a Master of Public Health degree from SFSU with a focus on community health education. She earned a Bachelor of Arts in sociology and women’s studies from California State University, Long Beach. Claire sees communication as essential to envisioning a more equitable future and as a tool for upstream policy change, sparking consciousness-raising, and building community power. You can’t be what you can’t see. As a communicator, Claire has made it her job to ensure a more just future is visible.
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