Luz María Frías is Deputy Attorney General for the State of Minnesota where she oversees four divisions representing a broad portfolio of executive branch entities, including state agencies, boards and commissions, licensing boards, and constitutional offices. She oversees a team of attorneys that appear in administrative hearings as well as state and federal courts.
A noted public policy strategist and thought leader on race and gender equity for more than 25 years, Luz María most recently served as the President and Chief Executive Officer of YWCA Minneapolis, where she was responsible for leading the strategy and operations of the organization’s five areas of commitment to the community and a budget of over $23 million through a dedicated staff of over 500 full and part-time employees.
She holds Master’s and Juris Doctor Degrees from the University of Iowa. Prior to YWCA
Minneapolis, Luz María served as the Vice President for Community Impact at The Minneapolis Foundation. She also served as Mayor Chris Coleman’s External Affairs Director before being appointed by him to serve as the inaugural Director of the Human Rights and Equal Economic Opportunity Department where she redesigned the city’s procurement system resulting in substantial growth in contracting opportunities for minority-owned businesses from $1 million per year to $13 million per year. Prior positions include: Family Court Magistrate for the State of
Minnesota, Hearing Examiner for the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, Chief
Executive Officer & Chief Legal Officer of Centro Legal and public policy work for the Minnesota House of Representatives. While working at the Minnesota House of Representatives, she played a lead role in drafting the Sexual Harassment Policy and Handbook for the Minnesota Legislature.
She has received numerous awards over the past 25 years for her work as a civil rights advocate including: 50 over 50 List of Accomplished Leaders from Pollen Midwest and AARP MN; 100 People to Know in 2019 from Twin Cities Business; Commitment to Service Award from Governor Mark Dayton; Myra Bradwell Award from Minnesota Women Lawyers Association; Women in Business Award from Minneapolis Saint Paul Journal; Diversity & Inclusion Award from Minnesota Lawyer; The Bernard P. Becker Award through the Minnesota State Bar Association; Courage in Leadership Award from the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association; The Distinguished Service Award from Governor Dayton’s Martin Luther King Jr. Council; Real Power 50 from Minnesota Business Magazine; Attorney of the Year Award from Minnesota Lawyer, and the Ohtli Award, which is conferred by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Mexico, the highest distinguished award given by the Country of Mexico to individuals living in a foreign country that have demonstrated a commitment to serve communities and families of Mexican origin.
Among various leadership roles, Luz María most recently served as a Trustee with Health Partners, is actively involved with the Minnesota Women Lawyers Association as an Advisory Council member and past-president. She is a founding member, and past-president, of the Minnesota Hispanic Bar Association. She has designed numerous nationally award-winning initiatives including the EMS Academy for Saint Paul and Minneapolis which both serve as pipelines for fire departments across the region – the academy provides EMT training and certification to youth from communities of color who live in low-income households. Luz María is an experienced mediator and frequent lecturer on the issues of race equity, gender equity, diversity and inclusion, implicit bias and immigration public policy