Michela Alioto-Pier is a San Francisco native with a long history in public service, For seven years, Michela represented District 2 on the Board of Supervisors. Appointed in January 2004 by Mayor Gavin Newsom. Michela is a nationally known disability rights advocate. After an accident left her unable to walk in 1981, she decided fighting for her own civil rights wasn't enough. In 1984 President Ronald Reagan appointed her to the National Council on Disabilities Advisory Board at age 17. She decided on a life in public service after seeing first-hand how effective advocacy can improve the lives of people dramatically. She later worked for Vice President Al Gore, as an advisor on domestic policy matters and a liaison to the Department of Health & Human Services. Michela graduated from the Convent of the Sacred Heart School in San Francisco, and received a degree in Anthropology from the University of California at Los Angeles. She also spent a year studying at Sophia University in Japan. Michela Alioto-Pier has received numerous awards and honors, including seconding the nomination of Vice President Al Gore at the Democratic national convention in August of 1996. She has been named one of the top 21 up-and-coming women leaders in the country by Ms. Magazine, she is a Henry Crowne Fellow with the Aspen Institute, and she was a delegate to the Lifetime Summit on Women in 1997.