Daniella Levine Cava
Daniella Levine Cava was elected Miami-Dade County’s first-ever woman Mayor in November 2020. She enters the Mayor’s office following a nearly 40-year career as a relentless advocate for South Florida families in public service and elected leadership.
As Miami-Dade County’s Mayor, she oversees a metropolitan government with more than 28,000 employees serving nearly 3 million residents, managing an annual budget of approximately $9 billion.
A social worker, lawyer, and community activist, she was first elected in 2014, and re-elected in August 2018, to serve as the Miami-Dade County Commissioner representing District 8.
As Commissioner, she invested in Miami-Dade small businesses and expanded economic opportunity, protected the environment and our water, increased the County police force for underserved areas, advocated for an expanded, reliable public transportation system, worked to create affordable housing and revitalize neighborhoods, and helped make local government more accountable and transparent.
Since the coronavirus pandemic began, she has advocated for a more effective public health response and worked to provide millions of federal CARES Act dollars in relief to struggling families and small businesses. As the new Mayor, she will begin working immediately with city leaders, the business community, and medical experts to create a unified pandemic response strategy that protects Miami-Dade’s lives and livelihoods.
Mayor Levine Cava came to elected office after having served as an advocate for South Florida families for over 30 years. She served special needs children and immigrants at Legal Services of Greater Miami, and then represented children in the child welfare system as Associate and Legal Director for the Guardian Ad Litem Program.
In the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew, she was recruited to create a new intake system for child abuse cases with the Department for Children and Families. Her efforts were concentrated on the neighborhoods of District 8 where she helped restore the lives and homes of those devastated by the storm.
In 1996, Mayor Levine Cava founded Catalyst Miami to help low- and middle-income families through service, education, and advocacy. Catalyst helps approximately 5,000 people each year to become more self-sufficient and civically engaged.
She is the Immediate Past Chair of the South Florida Regional Planning Council (SFRPC) and served as an SFRPC Council Member from 2015 – 2020. She has served on the Florida Bar Committee on Legal Needs of Children; the boards of League of Women Voters, Orange Bowl Foundation, North Dade Medical Foundation, South Florida Health Information Initiative, and several national boards. She’s won numerous awards from various organizations including: the Commission on Ethics, Red Cross, American Society for Public Administration, ACLU, National Council of Jewish Women, AAUW, among others.
Born in New York and raised partly in Latin America, Mayor Levine Cava received her bachelor’s degree in psychology with honors from Yale University and graduate degrees in law and social work from Columbia University.
She came to South Florida in 1980 to join her husband, Dr. Robert Cava, a Miami native, who returned home to join his father in medical practice. Daniella and Robert raised two children, Eliza and Edward Cava, in Miami-Dade, supported by strong networks of friends, families, and co-workers.