Laura Guerra-Cardus is the Director of State Medicaid Strategy on the Health team. Prior to joining the Center, Guerra-Cardus served as the Deputy Director for the Children’s Defense Fund where she helped lead Texas partners, coalitions, and campaigns to advance health equity for Texas children and families. Her efforts helped expand coverage for new mothers, streamline eligibility systems for children, and reduce Texas' child uninsured rate from 17.6 percent in 2008 to an all-time low of 9.8 percent in 2016. In 2021 Guerra-Cardus brought together a team of national and Southern state partners to advocate for Congress to take action to close the Medicaid coverage gap. In addition to health policy, she has worked on a variety of policy areas, including the protection of immigrant children and families, and helped lead on-the-ground outreach, educational, and civic engagement projects.
Guerra-Cardus is a graduate of Rice University and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, an alumni of the Children’s Health Leadership Network, and an alumni of the Coro Fellowship Program in Public Affairs – St. Louis. In 2022 she received the Families USA Consumer Health Advocate of the Year award for her leadership and commitment to health equity. She is also the recipient of the Rumbo Mujeres Destacadas Award in 2013, and the League of Women Voters Texas Making Democracy Work Award in 2017.