National Hispana Leadership Institute - Celebrating 27 Years of Latina Leadership  

at Harvard University

Executive Leadership Program

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Sponsored By:

Anheuser Bush


Center for Creative Leadership


Miller Coors




2010 Fellows

Helen J. Arteaga

Helen J. Arteaga, MPH Director of Plaza Del Sol Family Health Center, a division of Urban Health Plan in Corona, Queens, has the tenure experience of community advocates and public to impact the communities of Corona, Jackson Heights, Elmhurst and East Elmhurst. Urban Health Plan, Inc. has patient base of 179,000 patient visits and 38,000 users, Plaza Del Sol Family Health Center is their second largest satellite with 10,000 visits and 4,000 users in the short period of 6 months.

Helen has lived in Corona all of her life and has always been involved with her community. Throughout the process of helping others, Helen herself was also able to succeed and fulfilled the dreams of the typical hard working immigrant and that of her parents. In 2001, Helen received a master's in Public Health from Colombia University. Graduate work provided a framework for Helen’s thinking and she began academic research about health care in her beloved Corona.  In 2006, Helen joined the staff of Urban Health Plan for the purpose of developing a program plan, and submitted a Certificate of Need, and gained the support of legislators and funders to enable this practice (Plaza Del Sol).
  Michelle Azel Belaire
Marcela Bailey

Marcela Bailey is the Vice President and Divisional CIO for Sony Pictures Home Entertainment, a multi-billion dollar division of Sony Pictures Entertainment (SPE) . In her current role, Marcela oversees the Global Information Technology (IT) strategy and direction that supports and enables the Home Entertainment business operations, including Sales, Marketing, Manufacturing, Distribution, Finance and Digital functions.

Marcela has over 19 years of entertainment industry experience at SPE, holding various management and leadership roles in Accounting, Customer Service, Sales, and Operations, and IT. Her rich experience in tactical execution, management processes and strategic planning has lead to her heading many strategic initiatives, company projects, start ups, and departments. Marcela's strategic vision, aligning business and IT, integrating business processes with technology, continues to provide direction for Sony's Home Entertainment and the IT organization.

Marcela holds a bachelor's degree in Business Administration with an emphasis in International Business from Loyola Marymount University and a master's degree in Business Administration in Information Systems and Operations Management from the University of Southern California. Marcela serves as a corporate council member for the Los Angeles Unified Preschool (LAUP) a nonprofit organization which helps expand early child hood education programs for families that could not otherwise afford them. She has three adult children, Alex (21), Nikki (19), and Robert (17), and lives with her husband, Dan, in Los Angeles.

Ana Maria (Ania) Camargo

Ana Maria (Ania) Camargo is co-founder and director of Case Associates, a management consulting firm that has provided assistance to healthcare and not-for-profit organizations in Boston since 1999. Clients include Massachusetts General Hospital, Planned Parenthood League of Massachusetts, the Women’s Lunch Place, and the International Institute of Boston. Before founding Case Associates, she worked for 6 years as a management consultant for CSC Healthcare.

Ana Maria is actively involved in her community and is the president of the Beacon Hill Civic Association board, a member of the board of Oiste, an advisory council member of Emerge Massachusetts, and was chair of the Harvard Business School Community Action Program board.

Ana Maria received a B.A. from Stanford University and a MBA from Harvard University. She was raised in Colombia and is fluent in Spanish and English.

Vanessa Cárdenas

Vanessa Cárdenas is the Director of Progress 2050 at the Center for American Progress.  Progress 2050 focuses on the demographic changes our nation is undergoing and its implications for a progressive agenda.  Prior to this role, she served as Director for Ethnic Media where she oversaw the communications outreach to Spanish language press as well as other mainstream and ethnic outlets.   

Before she came to American Progress she worked as a Policy/Communications Associate and Outreach Coordinator at the National Immigration Forum, a leading national pro-immigrant advocacy organization. 
Vanessa was the first in her family to attend college and holds a B.A. in Government and Politics and a Master’s in Public Administration from George Mason University and is a graduate of the Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership at the University of Virginia.  Vanessa was profiled as one of the “100 People to Watch in the Next Century” by Washingtonian Magazine

She regularly appears in CNN en Español, Telemundo, Univision, BBC among others and has been widely quoted in various print publications such as the US News and World Report, The Washington Post and La Opinion.
Gloria Contreras Edin

Gloria Contreras Edin is a respected attorney working with individuals, businesses, nonprofits and foundations. She has a strong impetus for justice and integrity in the law. Until recently, she was the Executive Director of Centro Legal, Inc. a nonprofit law firm that provided legal services to immigrants.

Gloria is actively engaged in Minnesota's philanthropic community. She currently owns her own private law firm where she provides immigration law services. She participates in numerous community boards including the Charities Review Council Board, The Minnesota Council on Foundations, the Initiative Foundation of Minnesota and the Women's Foundation of Minnesota. Gloria has spent her career working with immigrants and on the issues that affect immigrant integration. Her work on immigration has been recognized locally and nationally. She has been also asked to speak nationwide on immigration related issues.

Gloria received her B.A. from California State University, Northridge and her J.D. from Hamline University School of Law in Saint Paul. She is married to David Cook and has two boisterous little boys, Josh and Erik.

Aurelia Flores

Aurelia Flores is Senior Counsel with SAIC, as well as founder of (

As an attorney, Aurelia is an Intellectual Property specialist for SAIC where she counsels, drafts, negotiates and advises on intellectual property matters for the company.  Aurelia joined the SAIC Legal Department in March 2001.  SAIC is a FORTUNE 500® scientific, engineering, and technology applications company that uses its expertise to solve problems of the nation and the world, in national security, energy and the environment, critical infrastructure and health.

Aurelia Flores founded Powerful ( in 2007 as a company that gathers together Latina women to learn from and share with one another.  The mission of Powerful is “assisting successful Latina women to stay grounded in their power!” and leverages the tools of the internet to do so.

Aurelia also volunteers for various nonprofit organizations, including serving on the Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of the San Diego Museum of Art, and as a board member of Women of Color in Law.

She received her B.A. from Colorado College, and her J.D. from Stanford Law School.  After law school, Aurelia was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship and studied in Mexico City.  Aurelia is a proud mother of one son who attends Georgetown University. 

Sol Flores

Sol Flores, Executive Director of La Casa Norte (LCN), was born and raised in Chicago. Sol’s family migrated from Puerto Rico in the 1950’s. Her grandparents taught her at an early age the value of helping others by supporting numerous foster children.  While part of a larger extended family, Sol was raised by a single mother, who taught her that anything is possible. In 2002, Sol became LCN’s founding Executive Director, a community- based organization located in Humboldt Park with a focus on youth and families who are homeless or precariously housed.  Since its inception, LCN has positively contributed to the lives of thousands of households, providing clients with housing advocacy services, counseling, and job training. 

Since late 2006, LCN has operated a youth shelter called the Solid Ground Supportive Housing Program.  Under Sol’s leadership she has lead LCN to be a nationally recognized, award winning organization. Sol won the first Red Ruby Slipper Award in 2006, given by Mayor Daley for her efforts to support the Chicago Ten Year Plan to End Homelessness.  In 2008, LCN won the Fannie Mae Maxwell Award of Excellence, one of four awarded in the country and the Driehaus Award for Architectural Excellence in Community Design for the Solid Ground facility.  Recently, Sol was named a Chicago Community Trust 2010 Emerging Leaders Fellowship Award recipient.  Sol is a board member of the Latino Policy Forum, Protestants for the Common Good, Council on Latino Homelessness, and Kuumba Lynx.

Edna Figueroa

With nearly 20 years of professional experience in the secondary mortgage industry, Edna Figueroa, Senior Product Manager and Strategic Planning Analyst for Fannie Mae, has been recognized by Cambridge Who’s Who 2009-2010 Registry of Executives, professionals and entrepreneurs for showing dedication, leadership and excellence in all aspects of mortgage services.

Edna is an expert in the implementation and management of strategic business initiatives designed to advance homeownership solutions in the U.S. housing market. She has demonstrated strong leadership in the areas of marketing, relationship management and reporting and business analytics. In 2006, she was recognized with the Inventor Award for an alternative credit underwriting pilot by Fannie Mae in Washington, DC.

Edna uses her personal and professional experience to expand outreach on financial services to the Hispanic community and has served as President of the Fannie Mae Hispanic Employee Resource Group.  In her spare time, Edna promotes the creation of Hispanic PTA platforms in public schools. She is the president of the Hispanic PTA Council at Kingsview Middle School in Germantown, MD and serves as an advisor to North West High School Hispanic Leadership Board.

Edna participated in the Latino Executive Leadership Program at University of California, Los Angeles in 2005 and holds a Bachelor of Science in Business & Accounting from Pace University conferred in 1991. She resides in Boyds, MD with her husband and two children.

Leticia C. Lara

Leticia C. Lara, LCSW, is Regional Manager for Outreach and Professional Development for ZERO TO THREE, a national non-profit organization that informs, trains, and supports professionals, policymakers, and parents in efforts to improve the lives of infants and toddlers. In this role, she builds professional development systems, disseminates researches based parent education materials and serves as a presenter on early childhood topics. In addition, she is a resource to English and Spanish media outlets such as American Baby Magazine, Hispanic Information and Telecommunication Network, Inc., and member of Circle of Advisors to KCET for  “A Place of Our Own/Los Niños en Su Casa”.

Prior to joining ZERO TO THREE, Leticia worked as Associate Director of Early Intervention at the Los Angeles Child Guidance Clinic. She provided oversight to mental health programs, including Building Blocks an award winning early intervention program that won the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry’s 2003 Rieger Award for Excellence.

Leticia shares her commitment to advocate for the well-being of children and families through her volunteer work on boards and membership affiliations. Her involvement includes Board Member to the Village Family Service; advisor to LA Best Babies Network; advocate as Commissioner to the Office of Human Relations, Diversity and Equity at the LA Unified School District and as a member of Transformative Collaborations International.  

Leticia earned her Master's degree in Social Work and Bachelor's from the University of California, Los Angeles. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, and thrives on experiencing the wonders of life through nature, traveling, and cycling. 

Rosalia Miller

Rosalia Miller is the Founder and Board Chair of the Latino Student Fund. The mission of the Latinos Student Fund (LSF) is to provide opportunities for a strong academic foundation for PreK-12 students of Hispanic descent to promote higher education and professional leadership. Rosalia is also a teacher and Multicultural Diversity Coordinator, Lower School at the National Cathedral School, Washington, DC.

Rosalia is a 2004 Washingtonian of the Year. She was appointed to the Congressional Latino Community Council and received a Congressional Award and recognition in 2009. She serves on several boards, including: Colgate University, the Beauvoir School, the Washington Scholarship Fund and the Cathedral Scholars.

Her advocacy for equitable education for all has provided her the opportunity to serve as a speaker and at various conferences including Fannie Mae’s Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration and National Association of Independent Schools Annual Meetings.  She is a graduate of Bellas Artes, Managua, Nicaragua, Universite de Paris a la Sorbonne, Paris, France; the Inchbald School of Design, London, England; and the Parsons School of Design. Rosalia speaks several languages and has traveled extensively. She loves to read.
Lisette Nieves

Lisette Nieves is the founding Executive Director of Year Up NYC. Since 2000, Year Up has served over 2,700 urban young adults who are either unemployed or under-employed find livable wage careers and earn college credits. Year Up is located in Boston, Providence, New York City, Washington DC, San Francisco, and Atlanta  She has recruited a great staff that has served over 400 young adults with 70 percent of Year Up NYC’s graduates employed, attending college, or both.  Lisette will be leading New York City's growth in 2010 and beyond — adding an additional class each year.

Lisette brings valuable skills and ideas from her prior community and youth development experiences to Year Up.  She advised nonprofits on strategic planning, program development and management. Lisette was also an instructor in Graduate Studies of Public Administration at Brooklyn College, former Chief of the Staff for the NYC Department of Youth and Community Development, and Senior Program Officer for the Corporation for National Service, overseeing AmeriCorps programs in the Northeast.  Her board memberships include, Fund for the City of New York, NYCETC, Center for Urban Future and the Aprendes Foundation. 

Lisette is a Truman Scholar from 1990, Rhodes Scholar from 1992 and a graduate of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Affairs at Princeton.

Sylvia Orozco

Sylvia Orozco is Professor of Reading for the College Prep Department at Miami Dade College’s Kendall Campus. In addition, she is in the process of developing a college-level reading textbook for developmental learners. For the last three years, she has traveled to several state and national conferences, sharing her professional experience in reading strategies with professors from across the nation.

Prior to her arrival at Miami Dade College, she was an elementary school teacher in the Miami-Dade County Public School system for eight years, where she taught grades 1-4 and Spanish as a Second Language.

Sylvia mentors several of students through on and off campus which include: faculty co-advisor’s to the Distinction Society’s Lambda Omicron Delta Sorority, Phi Beta Lambda (PBL) and through the Communities in School’s program in Miami Dade.

In her leisure, she enjoys training and running half marathons for the Leukemia and Lymphoma’s Team in Training program. As a part of her membership of this team, she not only trains physically, but she is responsible for raising money, and has raised over $3,000 for the organization.  

Sylvia earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Florida International University in Elementary Education and dual Master of Science degree from the University of Miami in Reading and Exceptional Student Education.

Jodi Valenciano Perr

Jodi Valenciano Perry, PHRW, has recently retired from the City of Fort Worth, Texas after 30 years of public service that included serving as an Arbitrator, Benefits Administrator, Senior EEO Investigator, Mediator, Housing Hearing Officer and EEOC Mediation Manager. Jodi was Fort Worth’s first Hispanic Assistant to the City Manager and Editor to Fort Worth’s first bilingual newspaper.

As a human rights professional, she holds the distinguished designation of PHRW, a small premier group of certified civil rights experts. She served on the national board for the National Association of Human Rights Workers where she presents courses on Latino Civil Rights and Mediation. Jodi was recognized with a Special United States Congressional Recognition for her work in civil rights.

She is the immediate past Texas LULAC State Director for Women where she founded the Texas LULAC Commission for Women, mentoring dozens of Latinas and Latinos and trained high school and collegiate students in mediation. She has also served as the Texas LULAC legislative Co-Chair and the State's Voter Registration Coordinator. Jodi was recognized as Texas LULAC Woman of the Year and received the Texas LULAC Leadership Award.

Jodi’s passion for politics have lead her create the Tejano Democrats of North Texas, Chair the 2008 Presidential Primary Precinct convention and coach candidates running for office.  Jodi graduated from Texas Wesleyan College majoring in education, journalism and photography. A widow, she has a daughter and son attending college. 

Rosa Maria Robles

Rosa Maria Robles, Associate Management Auditor at Department of Resources Recycling and Recovery, is responsible for protecting the California Beverage Container Recycling and Litter Reduction Fund.  In her capacity, she conducts audits of beverage manufacturers, distributors, recyclers and processors to ensure proper payment of processing fees and the California Refund Value.  Rosa ensures companies are in compliance with Title 14 of the California Code of Regulations, has served as the department’s Spanish spokesperson for the media and has conducted fraud cases. She has over 25 years in government service.

She is the Immediate Past President of MANA de San Diego, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers Latinas through Education, Leadership Development, Community Service and Advocacy.  During her four year tenure, MANA de San Diego received several recognitions including best chapter and best Hermanitas® Youth Mentorship Program.  Rosa has also received recognition by U.S. Congressman Bob Filner and Soroptimist International of San Diego for her advocacy and community service.  She serves on U.S. Congressman Bob Filner’s Latino Advisory Committee and the EOPS Southwestern Community College Advisory Board.

Rosa earned her B.S. in International Business from CSU, Sacramento, is a Certified Fraud Specialist and a graduate of the Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE) leadership program.  She enjoys traveling and currently resides in Chula Vista, California.

Julie C. Rodriguez, Director of Development at Colorado State University-Pueblo has expertise in fundraising and non-profit managemen and is responsible for planning, implementing and administering capital, comprehensive, and mini-campaigns for the University as well as managing the private scholarship award and solicitation process.t. CSU-Pueblo serves over 5,000 students in the Southern Colorado area and has been designated as a Hispanic Serving University by the Federal Government for 25% of their undergraduates identifying as Hispanic/Latino.

Prior to CSU-Pueblo, Julie worked as a contractor for the Xcel Energy Foundation where she assisted with grant making and foundation operations.  As a fundraising, marketing and events management professional, Julie has also worked for the City of Denver where she developed and managed city-wide cultural initiatives including One Book, One Denver and Doors Open Denver.  She also served as director of annual giving at Colorado School of Mines, director of development at Mile High Montessori Early Learning Centers and assistant director of student activities at Metropolitan State College of Denver.  

Additionally, Julie has served on numerous community and nonprofit boards, is a founding board member of the Latina Chamber. and 2003 participant and current board chairwoman of the Circle of Latina Leadership.  Julie was appointed by Denver Mayor John Hickenlooper in 2005 to serve on the Denver Public Library Commission.  She is a recipient of the 2008 Forty Under 40 Award by the Denver Business Journal and received the Outstanding Alumni Award from Metropolitan State College of Denver in 2007.

Julie earned her B.A. from Metropolitan State College of Denver. She is engaged to Brian P. Musgrave and they currently reside in Pueblo, Colorado.

Rebecca Saldaña

Rebecca Saldaña serves as Community Liaison for U.S. Representative Jim McDermott's district office in Seattle, Washington.  As Liaison, she convened a Latino Leaders Roundtable to advise Representative McDermott, and has developed strong relationships with the affordable housing, LGBT, veterans, and labor union communities.  Prior, she worked as a union organizer with the Oregon's farm worker union, PCUN, and the United Farm Workers and SEIU Local 6 in Washington State.

Rebecca volunteers on the board of the Latino Community Fund, a nonprofit organization that invests in the best practices of Washington State's Latino-led gras-roots organizations. She is past board president of STITCH, a national non-governmental organization connecting women in Central and North America working for economic justice.  Rebecca is also a member of Mujeres Northwest and Bailadores de Bronce, a Mexican folkloric dance group.

Rebecca received a B.A. in both Theology and Humanities from Seattle University in 1999. She attends Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish, and is married and helps raise three amazing children. She enjoys reading, dancing, and appreciating the beauty of the Pacific Northwest.

Deborah Quiñones

Deborah Quiñones, Public Health Representative New York State Department of Health AIDS Institute, works to increase HIV testing opportunities for communities and populations disproportionally impacted by the AIDS epidemic. As a field coordinator with the NYS Tobacco Control Program she was responsible for the first conference to address the impact of smoking and tobacco advertisements in minority communities. She later went on to coordinate the first “Building One Voice through Diversity “International Tobacco Forum at the UN with former US Surgeon General David Satcher.

At the local level she is tireless community activist that has worked to build and sustain the community environment. A founding board member of the NYS Federal Empowerment Zone she helped to develop the Cultural Investment fund model that has distributed $50 million in Northern Manhattan. Through her “We Are Watching You” grassroots policy advocacy efforts she has insured that NYC cultural institutions remain accountable to community residents and artist. As the founder of the International Coquito Federation, she hosts the annual Coquito Masters. Currently, she is developing a community March against Obesity to raise funds for the Young Bucks and as a Civitas board member she is working to rezone areas in East Harlem.

Debbie attended Lehman College for Nutrition and Restaurant Management. She is a graduate of the Advocacy Institute Fellow Program.
Gina Webe

Gina Weber, Regional Senior Policy Advisor on U.S.-Mexico boarder at the U.S. Enviormental Protection Agency, is responsible for the development, coordination and management of all aspects of a binational enviornmental program along the U.S.-Mexico border. She has effectively managed the alocation and award of a mulitmillion dollar annual budget utilized to address complex and sensitive environmental and public health issues.

Gina has successfully negotiated, written and managed the development and implementation of binational and international documents. Gina has developed and has leveraged several million dollars in projects to bring a cleaner environment to our communities. She has implemented most of this work through the development and management of locally run binational workgroups including Enviornmental Justice Coordinator and Special Assistant. Gina volunteers as a mentor at her local elementary school, and volunteers at several organizations such as Teatro Dallas and Mexico Institute.

Gina earned her B.A. and Master’s in Public Administration from Nothern Illinios University in Dekalb, IL. Gina has a wonderful and active 9 year old son.

Rosemary Gonzales Ybarra-Hernandez serves as CEO/Founder of AGUILA Youth Leadership Institute, a college prep/access program for Latina/o youth. Throughout her life she has been recognized for her personal, academic accomplishments and achievements in design and delivery of award winning programs in government, education and non-profit organizations, particularly those which serve youth. At Arizona State University she received recognition as Board of Regents Scholar, the first Arizona recipient of the US Social Security Scholarship for Community Leadership, the Patricia Roberts Harris Federal Fellowship where her doctoral research focus on Latino gangs would influence her decision to begin AGUILA. She then received the ASU Cesar Chavez Award for Community, Women of the Year-Gama Alpha Omega Sorority, Caesar Chavez Award for Community Service by the Glendale Chamber of Commerce, and most recently with the 2009 Lorraine Lee Latino Advocacy Champion Award by Valle del Sol Profile of Success.

Rosemary is also Adjunct Faculty at Phoenix College where she teaches course, in Political Science, Public Policy and Chicano/a Studies. She participated in the Arizona Education Policy Fellowship Program at ASU focusing on High School Counselor Requirements. She holds a B.S. in Political Science/Pre-Law, a Master's in Public Administration and Doctoral work in Juvenile Justice Policy (PhD-ABD). She is married to Robert, and has 4 daughters, and most recently has been blessed with the addition of 2 grandsons.