General Motors has officially added a 13th seat to its board of directors just for Cynthia A. Telles. If you live in the greater L.A. area, there's a good chance that name sounds familiar. She spent a lengthy 13 years as a Los Angeles commissioner, and has background steeped in ethics and equality. But while you'd expect Telles to have some connection to manufacturing or the automotive industry, as far as we can tell, she doesn't.
Telles has her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from Boston University, and currently serves as the director of the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute Spanish-Speaking Psychosocial Clinic. Try fitting that on a business card. According to the GM press release, she's also had quite a bit of work published in the mental health field, which means that eventually, Telles may provide us with the answer behind what GM was thinking with cars like the Pontiac Aztec.

She is quite accomplished in the business world, though. Telles has sat on a number of boards in her time, including slots on the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals, Americas United Bank and Sanwa Bank California, among others. What impact will Telles have on GM? It's hard to say just yet, but we'll keep our eyes peeled.

[Source: General Motors]

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Dr. Cynthia A. Telles joins the GM Board of Directors
2010-04-13

DETROIT – General Motors Company today announced the appointment of Dr. Cynthia A. Telles to its board of directors.

Dr. Telles, 57, has been on the faculty of the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry since 1986. She is currently the Director of the UCLA Neuropsychiatric Institute Spanish-Speaking Psychosocial Clinic. Among many corporate, non-profit, and public service board memberships, Dr. Telles was recently appointed to the White House Commission on Presidential Scholars by President Obama. Dr. Telles was also appointed to the National Advisory Council of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, the advisory group on Health Care Reform, and the Regional Selection Panel for the White House Fellows Program during the Clinton Administration.

Her work has been published extensively in the area of mental health, particularly with respect to the assessment and treatment of Hispanic populations. Dr. Telles received her B.A. from Smith College and doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Boston University.

Dr. Telles currently is a member of the board of the Kaiser Foundation Health Plan and Hospitals (Kaiser Permanente) and Americas United Bank, which she has served on since its inception. The bank is the largest Hispanic-owned bank based in California. She previously served on the boards of Burlington Northern Santa Fe Corporation and Sanwa Bank California (United California Bank).

'The addition of Dr. Telles to GM's board of directors ensures that the company will continue to benefit from a diversity of perspectives and experience in our mission to provide consumers with the world's best vehicles,' said CEO and Board Chairman Ed Whitacre.

Dr. Telles' appointment brings the number of GM directors to 13. In addition to Ed Whitacre, the other board members include lead director, Patricia Russo, former CEO Alcatel-Lucent; Carol Stephenson, dean of Richard Ivey School of Business at University of Western Ontario; Daniel Akerson, managing director and head of Global Buyout of The Carlyle Group; David Bonderman, co-founding partner and managing general partner of TPG; Robert Krebs, retired chairman and CEO of Burlington Northern Santa Fe; Stephen Girsky, GM vice chairman, Corporate Strategy and Business Development.; Erroll Davis, chancellor, University System of Georgia; Neville Isdell, retired chairman and CEO, The Coca-Cola Company; Kent Kresa, chairman emeritus, Northrop Grumman Corp.; Philip Laskawy, retired chairman and CEO, Ernst & Young LLP; Kathryn Marinello, former chairman and CEO, Ceridian Corp.

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