Coordinator of Student Field Programs
Labor Studies & Labor Summer
Mara Ortenburger (she/they) is a labor and public health advocate who supports social justice movements with applied research and strategic communications. As coordinator of student field programs, Mara connects university students to labor organizations by facilitating research, internships, and service learning. She is thrilled to be part of a team that is dedicated to expanding student opportunities in the labor movement.
Before joining the Labor Center, Mara spent four years at Worksafe, a California nonprofit focused on occupational health and safety. As communications and research director, Mara co-authored an impactful 2017 study of safety lapses at Tesla Motors and published Dying at Work in California, an annual report that documents the human toll of work-related injury and illness. She has also worked with the UCLA Labor Occupational Safety and Health Program and the Occupational Health Internship Program.
Mara holds a master’s degree in public health from UCLA and a bachelor’s degree in politics from UC Santa Cruz. Between degrees, they worked with incredible teams at DataCenter, Human Impact Partners, and Research Action Design. In these roles, Mara supported community-engaged projects on a range of equity issues and developed deep respect for critical and participatory approaches to research.