Rhonda is the Managing Director of the Program for Environmental and Regional Equity and the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration at USC where she both manages the centers and some research projects and conducts research. Ortiz holds a Masters in Urban Planning from UCLA. She co-authored California Immigrant Integration Scorecard; Making Change: How Social Movements Work and How to Support Them; and Immigrant Integration in Los Angeles: Strategic Directions for Funders with Manuel Pastor; Connecting at the Crossroads and The Color of Change: Interethnic Youth Leadership for the 21st Century with Manuel Pastor and Jennifer Ito; and Sustainable Advocacy for Fair Credit and Fair Banking with Manuel Pastor and Vanessa Carter.
Ortiz previously worked as an Evaluation Associate for The California Endowment, working closely with evaluators serving the Hmong immigrant community of the Central Valley, evaluating initiatives targeting policy and advocacy work and grassroots organizations. Prior to The Endowment, Ortiz worked in varied capacities, such as, a Research Analyst for SEIU Local 399, conducted research on living wages for the living wage ordinance in Santa Monica and coordinated an environmental education program.
Fluent in Spanish she has lived in Mexico and worked with a team of researchers to develop economic development projects between immigrant Hometown Associations in Los Angeles and their communities in Jalisco, Mexico. Ortiz was a member of the inaugural cohort of the Rockwood Fellowship for a New California.