Power Summit 2021 Speakers - Voto Latino Foundation

Power Summit 2021 Speakers


Stacey Abrams


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Stacey Abrams is the New York Times bestselling author of Our Time Is Now and Lead from the Outside, an entrepreneur and a political leader. She served as Democratic Leader of the Georgia House of Representatives for 7 years prior to running for Governor of Georgia, where she won more votes than any other Democrat in the state’s history. She launched Fair Fight Action after the 2018 gubernatorial election to ensure every American has a voice in our election system, Fair Count to ensure accuracy in the 2020 Census and the Southern Economic Advancement Project, a public policy initiative to broaden economic power and build equity in the South. Abrams received degrees from Spelman College, the LBJ School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, and Yale Law School. Born in Madison, Wisconsin, she and her five siblings grew up in Gulfport, Mississippi and were raised in Georgia.

Dolores Huerta


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Dolores Huerta is a civil rights activist and community organizer. She has worked for labor rights and social justice for over 50 years. In 1962, she and Cesar Chavez founded the United Farm Workers union. She served as Vice President and played a critical role in many of the union’s accomplishments for four decades. In 2002, she received the Puffin/Nation $100,000 prize for Creative Citizenship which she used to establish the Dolores Huerta Foundation (DHF). DHF is connecting groundbreaking community-based organizing to state and national movements to register and educate voters; advocate for education reform; bring about infrastructure improvements in low-income communities; advocate for greater equality for the LGBT community; and create strong leadership development.

She has received numerous awards: among them The Eleanor Roosevelt Humans Rights Award from President Clinton in 1998. In 2012 President Obama bestowed Dolores with The Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest civilian honor in the United States.

María Teresa Kumar

Founding President and CEO, Voto Latino Foundation

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María Teresa Kumar is the founding CEO of Voto Latino and Voto Latino Foundation and is an Emmy-nominated on-air analyst for MSNBC. As the country’s largest Latinx voter registration and mobilization organization, Voto Latino has played a decisive role in American elections and been a major voice countering disinformation in the Latino community. Under María Teresa’s leadership, this work has garnered numerous awards and recognitions.

María Teresa began her career as a Senior Legislative Aide on Capitol Hill where she worked on appropriations and trade policy. She is a graduate of the Harvard Kennedy School, an international affairs graduate of the University of California at Davis, a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations, a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, and a board member of Emily’s List. María Teresa has dedicated her career to engaging the public to build democracy and protect human rights.

Christine Chen


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Christine Chen is a co-Founder and Executive Director of Asian Pacific Islander American Vote (APIAVote), one of the most trusted national, nonpartisan organizations. APIAVote’s mission is to work with local and state community based organizations (CBOs) to mobilize Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) communities in electoral and civic engagement. Since 2007, APIAVote has been building power in AAPI communities by investing in their capacity and infrastructure to mobilize voters. This investment, as well as, proactively training and resourcing community leaders across the country, paid off in the 2020 election cycle and Census. Under Chen’s leadership, APIAVote strengthened and expanded APIAVote’s partners into 28 states and made two historical milestones; attracted, then candidate Joe Biden to speak directly to the AAPI electorate, a  first in history for a Presidential nominee, and second, contributed to the groundwork that led to the highest AAPI voter turnout in history.

Chen has been a champion for the empowerment of AAPI communities from the start of her career. Moving to Washington, DC, from Ohio, she took on organizing and leadership roles at the Organization of Chinese Americans (OCA), and started a consulting firm, Strategic Alliances USA which was built on her broad and deep pool of relationships and skills in the AAPI community and in government. Chen’s firm included clients such as the Linsanity documentary, Comcast, and USDA to coordinate their outreach to Hmong farmers in Arkansas.

While serving as Executive Director of OCA National from 2001 to 2006, Chen served as a member of the executive committee of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, founding member of APIA Scholars, and served on numerous boards including the National Council of Asian Pacific Americans and Demos Board of Trustees. She currently serves on the Kennedy Center Community Advisory Board and the Center for Asian American Media.

Rashad Robinson

President of Color Of Change

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Rashad Robinson is President of Color Of Change, a leading racial justice organization with more than 7 million members. Rashad designs winning strategies to build power for Black communities: moving prosecutors to reduce mass incarceration and police violence; forcing over 100 corporations to abandon the right-wing policy shop, ALEC; forcing corporations to stop supporting Trump initiatives and white nationalists; winning net neutrality as a civil rights issue; changing representations of race in Hollywood; moving Airbnb, Google and Facebook to implement anti-racist initiatives; forcing Bill O’Reilly off the air. Rashad appears regularly in major news media and as a keynote speaker nationally. He was among the first in a global cohort of Atlantic Fellows for Racial Equity, and writes a monthly column about race, politics and corporate accountability for The Guardian. Previously, Rashad served as Senior Director of Media Programs at GLAAD. Rashad currently serves on the boards of the Hazen Foundation and Marguerite Casey Foundation.

Melissa Barrera

One on One Session

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Melissa Barrera recently starred in Warner Brother’s movie adaptation of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Broadway musical “In the Heights,” directed by Jon M. Chu. Barrera received rave reviews for her performance, with IndieWire calling her casting “perfection” and her on-screen presence “compelling.” In January 2022, Barerra will star in the next installment of Paramount’s iconic horror franchise, “Scream,” opposite Courtney Cox, Nev Campbell and Jack Quaid. Barrera will then star as the title character in “Carmen ” opposite Paul Mescal for Sony Pictures Classics. Currently, she is in production playing the lead character in the upcoming Netflix drama, “Breathe.”   Melissa made her US acting debut starring as Lyn in STARZ’s critically acclaimed series “Vida,” which recently wrapped its third and final season.

In addition to her acting work, Barrera has joined Clinique as a Global Brand Ambassador. She is the first Latina representing the brand globally.

Barrera is an advocate for inspiring change, setting an example, and motivating others to use their voice; leading her to collaborate with Bold Futures, a non-profit that leads policy change, research and culture shift by and for women and people of color in New Mexico. Born and raised in Monterrey, Mexico, Barrera graduated from NYU. She currently resides in The US and Mexico.

Manny MUA

One on One Session

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Manny Gutierrez (known professionally as Manny MUA) is a Mexican-American makeup artist, beauty expert, entrepreneur and pioneer in the makeup world for his commitment to blurring the lines of gender in cosmetics. Manny is the Founder & CEO of Lunar Beauty, a cosmetics line for men, women, and everyone in between. Manny has been recognized by Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list for establishing his own beauty empire and being one of the most influential beauty experts on the internet. Manny currently stars as the host and mentor in the Snap Original series Coming Out and will next be seen in the revival of VH1’s The Surreal Life. For information on Lunar Beauty please visit lunarbeauty.com.

To view Manny MUA’s Youtube Channel, visit this link!

Photo Credit: Buzzfeed/Shannon Soule

Kajsa Boline


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Kajsa is a buying manager at Zumiez, a leading specialty teen retailer with over 700+ stores in North America. She has helped lead the Zumiez Stand Up Initiative, which is focused on amplifying the voices of the community to bring awareness to the issues they care about, and provide them the tools to better understand how their vote impacts these issues. The Zumiez Stand Up team is focused on registering voters, and creating fun and engaging ways to help young people further understand the importance of civil engagement.

Maria Fernanda Cabello

Breakout Session Host

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Maria Fernanda (Mafe) Cabello is an immigrant from Mexico and has been an organizer in the immigrant’s rights movement since 2009. She worked in the campaign for DACA that expanded the rights of undocumented immigrants and directed the “I’m a Dream Voter” project, the first-ever undocumented-led civic engagement effort with United We Dream. She then went on to build Movimiento Cosecha, a non-violent popular movement aimed at winning permanent protection, dignity, and respect for all immigrants. She used her experience and knowledge in movement building as Momentum’s Coaching Director, where she supported organizations like Greenpeace, Bend the Arc, Sunrise, MoveOn, and more. She is currently the Director of Training at Made to Save, a national public education campaign rooted in grassroots organizing. Our goal is to build trust in the COVID-19 vaccines and increase access in communities who have been hit the hardest by this pandemic.

Briana M. Calleros


Briana M. Calleros is a strong advocate for creative solutions to achieve community empowerment with policy experience in education, nonprofit, and government.  As Director of Community Education at SUMA Wealth, she oversees the SUMA Academy platform by breaking down complex financial concepts to create relatable and accessible educational content.  She has a personal connection to this work as a “peak millennial” navigating her personal world of finance hoping to also generate wealth in her familia. Briana‘s career goal is to increase participation and inclusion for our community.

Kathy Cano-Murillo

Breakout Session Host

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Kathy Cano-Murillo, The Crafty Chica, is former syndicated newspaper columnist and now a full-time creativepreneur which has led to multiple product lines, and collabs with national brands. She has authored several craft books and novels, the newest book by Kathy, The Crafty Chica Creates is now available on pre-sale and will hit bookstores everywhere on November 30th. Kathy has new product lines debuting this year for HSN, Bisque Imports, Madison Park Greetings, and Riley Blake fabrics.  Kathy has been featured in Forbes, The New York Times, Buzzfeed+ more.  To pre-order Kathy’s latest book The Crafty Chica Creates please click here.

Gregorio Casar


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Recently elected for a third term, Gregorio “Greg” Casar is the youngest person ever elected to the Austin City Council. He has a proven track record of fighting for a fair and safe city for all Austinites.

Greg’s passion has led him to tackle long standing issues in the community, with accomplishments that include many victories on behalf of Austin’s working families. He championed the paid-sick-days laws passed first in Austin, and later in San Antonio and Dallas, implementing what the Austin-American Statesman called the “most progressive labor policy for the entire state and possibly the American South.” He also led the effort to pass the largest affordable housing bond in Texas history, providing historic increases in housing for Austin’s working class.

The safety of all of Austin’s residents is one of Greg’s highest priorities. Greg led the initiative to clear the backlog of sexual assault evidence kits and addressed a shelter shortage for survivors of family violence. He has addressed racial disparities in the criminal justice system, and authored the “Freedom City” policies which reduced discretionary misdemeanor arrests by 75% and ended all arrests and fines for personal marijuana possession. He also successfully redirected City budget resources to address the needs of everyday Austinites more effectively, shifting to a moral budget that focuses on prevention of harm and violence, shifting away from overpolicing as a strategy and towards deep investments in community solutions.

Ana De Carolis

Breakout Session Host

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Ana De Carolis is a Training Associate at the Made To Save campaign. Ana works with internal and external partners to develop resources as well as to create and implement training curriculum aimed at building the skills needed for successful vaccine conversations and outreach. Prior to Made To Save, Ana worked at the community-based level doing community education, outreach and advocacy around language justice; supporting grantees with training and technical assistance on language access at Esperanza United (formerly known as Casa de Esperanza/National Latin@ Network), and at the UC Berkeley Center for Latin American Studies.

Dr. Menna Demessie


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Dr. Menna Demessie is the Senior Vice President and Executive Director of Universal Music Group’s global Task Force for Meaningful Change (TFMC) where she works to advance the ongoing efforts of the TFMC to drive meaningful, long-term change. Prior to joining UMG, Dr. Demessie served as Senior Vice President of Policy Analysis and Research; and the Leadership Institute at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation, Inc. (CBCF) where she led the foundation’s research and policy initiatives affecting African Americans and the global Black community in areas including education, criminal justice, economic opportunity, voting rights and public health among many others for the past nine years. Dr. Demessie has spearheaded several partnerships with the White House, the U.S. Congress and recently led CBCF efforts to establish the National Racial Equity Initiative for Social Justice, established critical research, social justice scholarships for HBCUs, and Congressman John Lewis Social Justice Fellows to work in Congress and continue the pipeline for African Americans to be leaders in public policy.

Jorge Casimiro



Jorge Casimiro serves as NIKE, Inc.’s Vice President and Chief Public Policy & Social  Impact Officer, as well as President of the NIKE Foundation. He leads an experienced and  diverse team driving NIKE’s global government relations, public affairs and social impact  strategies to effectively and responsibly engage in public policy and to create lasting,  positive change in communities around the world.

Ingrid Duran



Ingrid M. Duran is CEO & Founder of D&P Creative Strategies, a company that she and her wife, Catherine, founded in 2004 to increase the role of corporate, legislative and philanthropic efforts in addressing multi cultural issues. D&P specializes in public affairs and government relations and
represents Fortune 200 companies as well as non-profits and trade associations.

Prior to starting D&P, Ingrid was President & CEO of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), a leadership development institute founded by Hispanic Members of Congress in 1978. CHCI’s mission is to develop the next generation of Latinx leaders and to build a diverse and inclusive workforce across industries. She grew the organization over six years from a $700K budget to a $7 million dollar budget and launched both their scholarship program and their renown annual conference. Preceding her leadership of CHCI, Ingrid was recruited to run the Washington, DC office of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) representing Latinx community interests to Congress and the Clinton Administration.

Ingrid’s public service began at an early age when she served as a Corporal in the US Marine Corps. She continued her public service on Capitol Hill for six years where she worked under the Clerk of the US House of Representatives and on the House Banking Committee under the leadership of then Chairman Henry B. Gonzalez. Ingrid also served as a Legislative Assistant for former Representative Gene Green.

Her efforts as a strong steadfast leader and advocate for the LGBTQ+ and Latinx communities have garnered her national accolades and numerous honors, including the Premio Dignidad Award from LLEGO; the Nation’s 100 most influential and powerful Hispanics for HISPANC and PODER magazines; and a Latina of Excellence by HISPANIC magazine. Along with her wife Catherine, Ingrid was recognized by the Hispanic Women’s Corporation and The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force with their 2012 Leadership Awards; Latino Magazine’s 2013 Power Players; Working Mother Magazine’s Legacy Awards; and Hispanic VIP’s Premio a la Excelencia for their work in the Hispanic community. In 2014 Latino Magazine recognized her in the Top 10 leaders in the Latinx community and People en Español named her one of 25 Most Powerful Latinas in the U.S. Ingrid was named one of The Hill’s 2018 top lobbyists in Washington, DC.

Together, Ingrid and her wife Catherine founded PODER PAC, a political action committee by Latinas for Latinas. PODER PAC is a national effort to increase the number of Latinas elected to Congress.

Through their production company, Freemind Beauty, they have also produced six films The Latino List I & II, The Out List and The Trans List for HBO and The Boomer List and The Women’s List for PBS American Masters.

Ingrid earned a bachelor’s degree from Park College and is a graduate of Harvard’s JFK School of Government Executive Program; Harvard’s Business School Corporate Governance Program; and the Center for Creative Leadership. She is a 2002 National Hispana Leadership Institute Fellow.

Julia Estacolchic


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Julia currently serves as Head of Brand for Chispa, the largest dating app for US Latinos and part of Match Group, the global leader in online dating. Before joining Match in 2017 to lead multicultural marketing strategy for Match Affinity apps and sites, she was Managing Director at Dieste, an Omnicom agency, leading a group of brand executives and cross-functional teams in business development, marketing strategy and execution for key agency clients including AT&T, The Hershey Company, Southwest Airlines, Nissan, and P&G among others. Previously, Julia served as Director of Marketing at Nexxo, a tech startup later acquired by MoneyGram, where she directed marketing efforts for multiple business models across the US, including proprietary/retail, platform, co-branded and brick-and-mortar, providing everyday financial services to US Latinos. A 2021 Women in Tech honoree, Julia is a proud bicultural and bilingual Latina with over 20 years of experience developing marketing and advertising strategies for the US, US multicultural markets and LatAm.

Javier Farfan


Javier Farfan is the Head of Latino Engagement for the NFL. Farfan, a seasoned marketing executive, has established his career by leveraging music, entertainment, technology, and culture to build brands.  Farfan is currently president and founder of J Wolf Advisors consulting brands like NFL, McDonalds, Miller Coors, New Balance, and TIDAL in these areas.  Farfan previously worked as VP of Marketing for Verizon and also was the head of the Music and Entertainment group across PepsiCo Beverages North America.  Mr. Farfan co-founded the UA School of Business for Young Women, a New York City High School Charter School that fosters the development and growth of socially conscious young women to become business leaders. Additionally, Farfan also founded JUMP Nation; a New York State non-profit youth mentoring organization.

Nancy Leon

Breakout Session Host

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Nancy Leon is currently the Training Manager at EMILY’s List. Born and raised in Prince George’s County Maryland, she is the proud daughter of Central American immigrants, and the first in her family to go to college. She graduated from Wheeling Jesuit University with a BA in Political Science and International Studies. Since then, she has dedicated her career to working in her local DMV community with grassroots organizations such as the Northern Gateway CDC, La Clínica del Pueblo, and Rising Organizers. Through these organizations she led community engagement efforts through advocacy campaigns, community health workshops, and organizing skills trainings. She is now excited to work for EMILY’s List as she helps women prepare to run for office and ignite real change in their communities.

John Paul Mejia


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John Paul’s commitment to climate activism began during his sophomore year of high school when Hurricane Irma threatened the city of Miami, where he lived with his mother. Seeing how disposable his most vulnerable community members were treated in the aftermath of the storm propelled him into action. Today, that action continues in his work. Today, John Paul is a national spokesperson for The Sunrise Movement, the youth-led political organization credited for bringing the Green New Deal onto the national political discourse. With a focus on narrative and communication strategy, John Paul also forms part of Sunrise Movement’s “frontloading team” comprised of organizers who are developing the future of the movement and its politics.

Lizet Ocampo

Moderator, Voto Latino Foundation Executive Director

Lizet Ocampo is Executive Director at Voto Latino. She most recently served as People For the American Way’s political director. In this role, she ran People For’s independent expenditure work, much of which focused on the Latinos Vote! program. This program engaged Latino Voters through paid and earned media and included work to expose and counter anti-immigrant, anti-Latino rhetoric from far-right leaders. In her time at PFAW, Ocampo managed the organization’s anti-Trump electoral efforts, worked with state and local leaders and organizations, engaged key national Latino leaders in elections including Dolores Huerta, Alicia Machado, and Rita Moreno, and served as a key spokesperson pushing back against right-wing extremism, especially as it related to immigration, civil rights, and voting rights. She also led the work on federal, state and local elections across the country, inducing special elections, off-year, midterm, and presidential elections.

Prior to her role at People For, Ocampo was associate director of immigration at the Center for American Progress. She has also served as vice president of campaigns for Latino Victory Project and national regional political director for President Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign. Ocampo served at the White House in the Office of Legislative Affairs as well as in the leadership office of Democratic House Whip Steny Hoyer. Ocampo received her B.A. and M.A. from Stanford University. Lizet is the proud daughter of Mexican immigrant farm workers.

Ocampo provides political commentary and policy analysis in both English and Spanish language. She has been cited as an expert in national publications ranging from the Washington Post to Latina Magazine, and has appeared on national broadcasts including Univision, Telemundo, CNN en Espanol, and MSNBC.

Carleen Pickard


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Carleen Pickard works on social, environmental and animal justice campaigns for Lush Fresh Handmade Cosmetics. Prior to Lush, she held several positions at the human rights group Global Exchange between 1997-2015, including Executive Director, Associate Director and Mexico Program Director. She was also an organizer and Political Co-Director at the Council of Canadians, Canada’s largest advocacy organization.

Audrey Ponzio


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Audrey Ponzio is the CEO & Founder of APC Collective, where she and her team develop award-winning communications and community engagement programs to help clients grow their reach, relevance, and impact. Specializing in integrated, inclusive campaign building and DEI consulting, Audrey has developed best-in-class programs for leading brands and organizations including Google, Audible, Bumble, GE, Starbucks, Kraft Foods, Unilever, Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Voto Latino Foundation, American Heart Association, Girl Scouts, Boys & Girls Clubs of America, Sprint/T-Mobile, Delta, and PepsiCo, among others. 

Prior to launching APC Collective, Audrey led Edelman’s Multicultural practice in New York City as Senior Vice President creating award-winning multicultural campaigns and DEI programs for organizations across public affairs, corporate, health, consumer, food & beverage, entertainment, and travel & tourism sectors. Audrey’s career began at Fleishman Hillard where she focused on public affairs, tech PR and community engagement. Audrey later helped LatinWorks, now Third Ear, develop their PR team and programs for clients including strategic partnerships, cause marketing, event activation and media relations.

An advocate of education and empowerment of women and underserved communities, she has served as counsel to a variety of non-profit organizations in the U.S. and Latin America.

Audrey graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Corporate Communications and has served as an adjunct professor at the Stan Richards School. She also holds a Masters in Public Administration from Columbia University. She is also a co-founder of community-created nonprofit Support Latino Business where she works with collaborators to help elevate and resource Latino-owned businesses.

Julie Rodriguez


 Julie Chavez Rodriguez is the Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. Julie served as a Deputy Campaign Manager on the Biden-Harris Campaign. Before that, she was National Political Director and traveling Chief of Staff for then-Senator Kamala Harris’ presidential campaign. Prior to launching Senator Harris’ campaign, she served as California State Director in her senate office. During the Obama-Biden administration, Chavez Rodriguez served as Special Assistant to the President and Senior Deputy Director of Public Engagement in the Office of Public Engagement. Before joining the White House, Chavez Rodriguez served as the Director of Youth Employment at the Department of the Interior and as Deputy Press Secretary to former Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar. Earlier in her career, she served as the Director of Programs at the Cesar E. Chavez Foundation. A native of California, she is a graduate of the University of California, Berkeley.

Emmy Ruiz


Emmy Ruiz serves as Deputy Assistant to the President and Director of Political Strategy & Outreach at the White House. She is a former campaign aide to Vice President Kamala D. Harris, Secretary Hillary Clinton, President Barack Obama, and Democratic Chairman Tom Perez.

Born in Texas, Ruiz started her career as an organizer. She lives in Washington, DC with her wife and son.

Lilián Sánchez


Lilián Sánchez serves as the Vice President’s Associate Director of Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs. She is a former Public Policy Fellow with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute working with the ACLU’s National Political Advocacy Department and the Office of Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal. Prior to CHCI, Lilián served as an Executive Assistant in the Office of the Iowa Auditor of State and joined then-Senator Harris’ presidential campaign as Iowa Deputy Political Director. Lilián began her career at Amnesty International and was a legislative intern in then-Senator Harris’ Washington, D.C. Office.

Lilián grew up in Des Moines, Iowa and is a proud first generation college graduate from the University of Iowa with degrees in Ethics & Public Policy and Political Science.

Johanna Silva Waki

Breakout Session Host


Johanna is the Vice President for Training and Community Engagement where she oversees partnership, community engagement and training programs which help to expand and diversify the pipeline of women running for public office.

Most recently, Johanna served as the Programs and West Coast Director for State and Local Campaigns at EMILY’s past two election cycles. She helped increase the number of Democratic pro-choice women in both chambers of California’s state legislature. In 2016, she led the effort to flip New Mexico’s House and Nevada’s state Assembly and Senate and increased the majority and number of women in Colorado’s State House.

In 2002, Johanna founded Hope Road Consulting, one of only a few women-of-color lead full-service political consulting and public relations firms in California. One of her stand-out achievements was to manage Vote Hope 2008, the largest independent expenditure in support of Barack Obama for President.

In July of 2021, Johanna was named one of 20 of the nation’s most sought after women political strategists by Business Insider.

An immigrant of Nicaragua, Johanna lives in San Francisco with her family. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and La Raza Studies from California State University, San Francisco.