USC Price School of Public Policy

Richard Cordova

Richard Cordova

President and CEO
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles

As president and chief executive officer of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Richard D. Cordova brings over 35 years of diverse healthcare experience to Southern California’s oldest children’s hospital. Cordova assumed his current role in 2006, a year after he became president and chief operating officer. At CHLA, he also serves as a member of the hospital Board of Trustees. Prior to his arrival at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles, Cordova worked with Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals. With revenues in excess of $20 billion, the nonprofit integrated health care system included 30 hospitals in eight states, a health plan with more than eight million members and eight physician groups.

Until 2004, Cordova was president of the Southern California Region of the Kaiser Permanente Health Plan and Hospitals with responsibilities for 11 hospitals with a licensed capacity of 2,300 beds, as well as a health plan for more than three million members, including 45,000 employees. He also led the organization’s regional efforts in marketing, strategic planning, finance, quality and patient safety.

Cordova served as chief operations officer for Southern California at Kaiser through 2002, prior to his appointment as president. Before that, he was senior vice president and service area manager, with responsibilities for four hospitals in Northern California East Bay Service Area, including those in Contra Costa and Alameda counties.

A native of Southern California, Cordova was born and raised in Montebello. He began his career in healthcare after graduating from California University, Los Angeles with a degree in business administration in 1972. A year later, he began working for the Department of Health Services for the County of Los Angeles. Through 1991, he held various roles as a leader for Los Angeles County, serving as administrator of General Hospital of Los Angeles County (LAC/USC Medical Center) and associate hospital administrator of operations at Olive View Medical Center. Cordova received his master’s degree from the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine University in 1984. He completed a PEW Fellowship at the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems as well. Expanding his healthcare experience, Cordova then went to work with the Department of Public Health for the City and County of San Francisco in 1991. Through 1998, he served as Executive Administrator of the Community Health Network with responsibilities for San Francisco General Hospital, Laguna Honda Hospital and 12 community health centers.

During this time, he served as CEO of San Francisco General Hospital, an acute care hospital specializing in trauma and AIDS. Cordova was a founding member of the San Francisco Public Health Authority, which created the Medi-Cal managed care organization for the City and County of San Francisco. During this time, Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala also appointed Cordova to the Council on Graduate Medical Education.

Over the years, Cordova has been affiliated with many national, state and local professional organizations. Those include the California Healthcare Association, the California Chamber of Commerce, the California Association of Public Hospitals and the National Association of Public Hospitals, among others.

Currently, Cordova is a Fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives (ACHE) and recently was elected to the Board of Governors. He serves on the board of the California Children’s Hospitals Association (CCHA). Cordova is also a board member of the California Hospital Association, Hospital Council of Southern California, Virtual PICU Systems, LLC, the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, and ThinkCure, the official charity of the Los Angeles Dodgers. He also served on the boards of the Child Health Corporation of America (CHCA) and the National Association of Children’s Hospitals and Related Institutions (NACHRI). As a proponent of diversity in the workplace, Cordova served as chair of the board of trustees for the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute of the School of Policy, Planning and Development at the University of Southern California. He is a founding member of the National Forum for Latino Healthcare Executives and past-chair of the Institute for Diversity in Health Management, a non-profit organization that works closely with healthcare organizations and educators to expand leadership opportunities for ethnic minorities in health services management.

Cordova has earned many accolades as a hospital leader. Most recently he was selected “CEO of the Year” by the Los Angeles Business Journal. Before that, Modern Healthcare magazine twice named him one of the “Top 25 Minority Executives in Healthcare” and also named him one of “The Most Powerful People in Healthcare.” He was also named one of America’s “Top 100 Most Influential Hispanics” by Hispanic Business magazine.

In 2010, California State University, Los Angeles named Cordova Alumnus of the Year. He was also given the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Graziadio School of Business and Management at Pepperdine in 2006.