Christopher Punongbayan is the Executive Director of California ChangeLawyers, a statewide foundation that invests in bright, diverse legal changemakers to ensure they have the opportunity to become tomorrow’s legal changemakers.
Over the last twenty years, Chris has gained deep experience in social justice issues. He profoundly believes in giving voice to the unheard, breaking down barriers, and creating strategic alliances to advance equity. Prior to joining the California ChangeLawyers, Chris was the executive director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-Asian Law Caucus and held positions at Northern California Grantmakers, Positive Resource Center, and Filipino Advocates for Justice.
Currently, Chris serves on the California Commission on Asian American and Pacific Islander Affairs, KQED's Community Advisory Panel, and is the Treasurer of the Mobilize the Immigrant Vote Action Fund. A native of Massachusetts and the son of immigrants from the Philippines, Chris graduated cum laude from Brown University with a degree in Asian American Studies and UCLA School of Law where he completed the Critical Race Studies concentration and the Epstein Program in Public Interest Law and Policy.
In 2003, Chris received a scholarship from California ChangeLawyers, which first set him on his social justice path in California. He has never looked back. Since then, Chris' accomplishments have earned him recognition from the New Voices Fellowship, the Gerbode Foundation, and the Levi Strauss Foundation, which named him a Pioneer in Justice.