Charleta B. Tavares

Ohio State Senator and Assistant Minority Leader (District 15 – Columbus) and President/CEO of Columbus Neighborhood Health Center, Inc.

Charleta B. Tavares (D-Columbus) was elected to serve Ohio's 15th Senate District in November, 2010. She is a committed public servant who served as a member of Columbus City Council from 1999 to 2010. Tavares' state and national reputation as a leader in the areas of health and human services was instrumental in her appointment to serve as the Chair of the Columbus City Council's Health & Human Development Committee. In Council, she also chaired the Housing Committee. Prior to joining Council, Tavares left a legacy for the citizens of Ohio during her 5 ½ year tenure in the Ohio General Assembly as the State Representative in the 22nd House District. Tavares was the first African-American female to serve in the state legislature from Franklin County and the first African-American woman ever to hold a leadership position in the Ohio General Assembly.

Tavares currently serves as the Chair of the Board of the Women's Action for New Directions (WAND) Education Fund and as Executive Director of Multiethnic Advocates for Cultural Competence (MACC), a statewide non-profit membership organization whose mission is to enhance the quality of care in Ohio's behavioral healthcare system and to incorporate cultural competence into systems and organizations that provide care to Ohio's vulnerable and at risk populations.

Tavares formerly served as the Chief of the Children's Protection Section in the Ohio Attorney General's Office. In this position, she played a leadership role in developing and advocating for policy and legislative initiatives to protect the health, safety, education and security of Ohio's children. She also served four years as Associate Director of the Public Children Services Association of Ohio and as a Legislative Assistant and chief staff person to the Human Resources Subcommittee of the Ohio House Finance-Appropriations Committee.