Below is a list of the 23 National Museum of the American Latino Commissioners appointed by the President and bi-partisan members of Congress:
Assistant provost and director of Notre Dame’s Institute for Latino Studies, Cárdenas has worked in the area of immigration for thirty years and has gained international recognition as a scholar in Mexican immigration. Three times named by Hispanic Business Magazine as one of the 100 most influential Latinos in the United States, Cárdenas has authored or edited numerous books, articles, monographs, and reports on international migration, economy and society, and race and ethnic relations.
As founder and CEO of Eventus Marketing, Albareda directs the leading Hispanic experiential, sports and entertainment company, which delivers unparalleled experiences to consumers in the Hispanic and multi-cultural segments. As President and CEO for Unipro Group, Inc., an event marketing and entertainment company, he oversaw the launch of a Hispanic market-focused division (currently Eventus) and secured joint-venture agreements with leading multi-media companies such as Clear Channel, Walt Disney Entertainment and the Latin Recording Academy (Latin GRAMMY®s). Albareda is active in various community organizations such as St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Ford Salute to Education, the Willy Chirino Foundation and is on the Hispanic Advisory Board to Big Brothers, Big Sisters.
An artist, arts administrator, and public servant; he is currently serving as Director of Cultural Affairs for the City of San Francisco. He has served as an independent curator and consultant in the areas of Information Technology and Strategic Planning for various foundations and government agencies including the Rockefeller Foundation, the Smithsonian Institution, the US / México Fund for Culture, the Inter-American Development Bank and, in Brazil, the Rio de Janeiro Museum of Modern Art, the Rio de Janeiro City Galleries, and the Tomie Ohtake Institute. Mr. Cancel was Director of the Bronx Museum of the Arts and Commissioner of the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs.
Sandy Colón-Peltyn was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico and has performed throughout the world as a singer. She has hosted and produced award-winning television talk shows in both her native country and in New York. After moving to Las Vegas in 1981 with her husband, the late Roger Peltyn, she became involved in cultural activities and philanthropic fundraising, helping to raise over $4 million for charity. Sandy is involved with more than a dozen organizations, including the Juvenile Diabetes Foundation, Opera Las Vegas, the Arthritis Foundation, Safe House, the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce and more. She was appointed by President George W. Bush as a member of the President's Advisory Committee on the Arts at the Kennedy Center. She is currently in charge of business development and community affairs for the firm of DeSimone Consulting Engineers. Fluent in three languages, she is also a volunteer substitute Spanish teacher. Sandy has one son R.J., a baby grandson, Antonio, and a stepson, Michael.
Rosa J. Correa was Executive Coordinator the Hispanic Ministry for the Diocese of Bridgeport (CT). With a background in banking, Ms. Correa worked in city government and as Director the Connecticut Governor's Southwestern Regional Office. Currently she serves as Manager of External Relations & Business Development at Family ReEntry.
Ms. Correa has received numerous awards, among them Distinguished Leadership Award from the National Association for Community Leadership and from Pope John Paul II, Papal Medal Pro Ecclesia Pontifice. She is actively involved in various community service activities such as the, Rotary Club of Bridgeport, the Board of Directors of the Council of Churches of Greater Bridgeport, Central Connecticut Coastal YMCA, Board of Trustees of the United Way of Coastal Fairfield County, the Civil Service Commission of the City of Bridgeport, St. Vincent's Swim Across the Sound - Breast Cancer Committee.
She is a founding member of the Greater Bridgeport United Relief Committee and annually chairs the Hispanic Heritage Month Tribute to the Americas. She co-founded the Bridgeport Barnum Festival La Danza, to celebrate the history, culture of the diverse Latin American countries. She chaired the Board of Commissioners of the Housing Authority of the City of Bridgeport, was commissioner for the Greater Bridgeport Regional Planning Agency, and served on the Board of the American Red Cross of Eastern Fairfield County as well as Catholic Charities.
Ms. Correa holds a B.A. Degree from Sacred Hart University and is a graduate of the inaugural 1990 class of Leadership Greater Bridgeport. She is married to Eddie F. Correa, and has three children and four grandchildren.
An award-winning filmmaker, producer, entertainment executive, entrepreneur and activist, is widely recognized for his contributions to the movie industry and commitment to Latinos everywhere. Esparza established Maya Cinemas, a growing chain of modern movie theatre complexes, and Maya Entertainment, a film production, distribution and financing company focusing on English and Spanish language Latino movies and TV programs for the world market. Some of his production credits include: Selena, The Milagro Beanfield War, The Disappearance of Garcia Lorca, Introducing Dorothy Dandridge with Halle Berry, Gettysburg, Gods and Generals and Walkout for HBO. Esparza founded the Los Angeles Academy of Arts and Enterprise Charter School, is Co-Founder of NALIP, Co-Founder of the Smithsonian Latino Center, and founding Member of the Cesar Chavez Foundation. He was appointed by Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa as Commissioner of the Los Angeles City Employees Retirement System.
One of the most successful producers the music industry has experienced, he has kept alive his Latin roots in everything he does. He has been instrumental in shaping, developing and directing the careers of Gloria Estefan, Shakira, Ricky Martin, Marc Anthony, Jon Secada, Alejandro Fernandez, Victor Manuelle, Carlos Vives, Jennifer López, Carlos Ponce and Shalim Ortiz among many others. Directing and producing music videos, television specials and special events have created a powerful base for his vision for television and movie developments that will shatter stereotypes of the Latin community. He has served as a member of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities. Estefan has also been a noted investor and developer in the hospitality industry. He has been recognized through innumerable awards and honors.
Mr. Ezeta is the President and co-founder of Caxculthi, Inc. (Casa de la Cultura Hispano Americana), the first Latino owned and operated cultural center in the state of Nevada. Mr. Ezeta serves on the advisory board for the Institute for Mexicans Abroad (IME), which is a decentralized agency of the Foreign Ministry of the Mexican government where one of his primary functions is to preserve the identity, culture, traditions and values of Mexican and Mexican-American communities in the United States. In 2007, Mr. Ezeta became an international consultant for the (UNIFAS), Women Forum of Las Americas where he directly advised the Brazil-Africa Forum and carried the non-profit’s mission of empowering and fighting for the rights of women world-wide. Mr. Ezeta has 17 years of experience in education and his passion and professionalism has distinguished him as a notable Hispanic leader in Southern Nevada. Ezeta is a Board Director for Bilingual Behavioral Services and Mente Sana, a prevention, counseling and educational program that serves the Southern Nevada community. Mr. Ezeta is a member of Luz Coalition, a community development coalition that educates and mobilizes local Latino communities to identify risk and protective factors that positively affect drug and alcohol abuse, and then educates communities on preventing, reducing and eventually eradicating drug and alcohol abuse in society. Mr. Ezeta also serves on the National Academic Advising Association (NACADA) where he works along with other professional advisors and administrators to enhance the educational development of students. Currently Mr. Ezeta serves as Professor/Counselor at the College of Southern Nevada where has served for the past nine years.
A native of Cuba, Dr. José B. Fernández holds a Ph.D. from Florida State University and is Pegasus Professor of History and Spanish and Dean of the College of Arts and Humanities at the University of Central Florida. Prior to his appointment at the University of Central Florida in 1981, he was Chair of the Department of Foreign Languages at the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (1976-1981). A recognized figure on Spanish Colonial History and Literature of the United States, he is the author and editor of numerous books and articles. Among his co-edited books is Herencia: The Anthology of Hispanic Literature of the United States. Published by Oxford University Press, the book is the first anthology of Hispanic literary works from colonial times to the present in what is now the United States. Dr. Fernández is also one of 27 national scholars on the Board of Recovering the Hispanic Literary Heritage of the United States, a ten million dollar project sponsored by the Rockefeller Foundation. Additionally, he was Chair of the City of Colorado Springs Human Relations Commission and was also the first Hispanic President of the Florida Historical Society in its 150 year history.
Offering more than 30 years experience in philanthropy, public program development, and executive management overseeing and directing non-profit arts and cultural organizations, Ms. García-Nakata’s experience encompasses non-profit and museum practice, arts and culture policy, progressive philanthropic giving, capital building projects, publication development, design and implementation of progressive education and public programs serving broad community needs, and the creative process. Currently a Commissioner with the San Francisco Arts Commission and publisher and Executive Director of the Children’s Book Press, she has served in many roles, including Executive Director of The Mexican Museum in San Francisco, Arts and Humanities program director, Marin Community Foundation, program director of Arts-in-Corrections, San Quentin State Prison. An internationally exhibited visual artist since 1974, Ms. García-Nakata has been a member of the world-renowned Sacramento Chicano artist collective, the Royal Chicano Air Force (RCAF). She is currently authoring a book on her experiences as a third generation descendant whose grandparents came to the United States in 1914 during The Mexican Revolution.
Susan Gonzales is the corporate senior director of government affairs for Comcast. She is also leading Comcast's diversity initiatives in Washington, working with elected officials, community leaders and minority organizations. Prior to her promotion, Gonzales was Comcast Cable's regional senior director of communications in Northern California where she served as spokesperson and led the communications and public affairs efforts in the region. Previously she served as a special assistant for public affairs in the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington, D.C. and served in public affairs roles for Levi Strauss & Co. and several high-tech companies in the Bay Area.
President of The Levitan Group, Inc., a strategic marketing consulting firm and of the non-profit cultural organization ArtesMiami, Inc. Dr. Levitan was the vice chairperson of Bromley, then the number one Hispanic advertising agency in the United States. She founded Sanchez & Levitan and later sold it to Publicis. Under her leadership, as CEO, Publicis Sanchez & Levitan became one of the top ten Hispanic advertising agencies, with offices in California, Texas, New York and Florida. An active civic and professional leader, she is the former president of the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies and currently serves on the boards of the: Miami Art Museum, España-Florida Foundation; Miami Dade Library Foundation; Latin Chamber of Commerce and the Spanish Cultural Center. She is a member of the Aetna Miami Advisory Council. She also co-founded the first AIDS fundraiser in Miami and directed the Fair of Spain and Hispanic Heritage Festival.
Actress, entrepreneur, and activist, “Desperate Housewives” star Eva Longoria pours her time, energy and heart into numerous philanthropic endeavors that are making a difference in the world around us. Longoria, founder of Eva’s Heroes, which provides an after-school program for individuals with developmental disabilities, is also the national spokesperson for Padres Contra el Cancer, which helps Latino families who have children with cancer by providing them with educational, financial, and language resources.
The face for L’Oreal, and the executive producer and host for the National Council of La Raza ALMA Awards, Longoria is producing her first documentary HARVEST. HARVEST brings the struggles of the estimated 500,000 mostly Latino children who work in this country’s fields– unprotected by the Fair Labor Standards Act because they are farm workers – out of the shadows.
Longoria is involved with the United Farm Workers, the Dolores Huerta Foundation, the Mexican American Legal Defense, and Education Fund, and works to bring attention to important issues such as voter registration and the census. Longoria is the owner of BESO restaurants, a production company, UnbeliEVAble Productions, and an eco-friendly development firm, The GreenVille Project.
A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, he served as a law clerk for two federal judges and worked at top-tier firms in Boston and San Juan before opening his own law firm. He enjoys a successful high-stakes litigation practice. Now the Latino Alumni Chair at Harvard Law School and president of the Harvard Club of Puerto Rico, he also serves as an Advisory Board member of the Harvard Latino Law Review. A member of the Board of the Federal Bar Association’s Puerto Rico Chapter, he also has held leadership roles in the Hispanic National Bar Association. He served as Co-Director of President Obama’s campaign in Puerto Rico and later stumped for Obama in Florida’s heavily Latino I-4 Corridor. López helped draft portions of the 2008 Democratic Party Platform and served as a Delegate at the 2008 Democratic National Convention. He is now an at-large delegate to the Democratic National Committee.
Her nursing experience has included acute care in neurosurgery at the University of California at San Francisco, head nurse of GI and Dermatology clinics at San Francisco General, geriatric Assistant Director of Nursing in upstate New York, and research study coordinator at UCSF and the Veteran’s Administration in Reno, NV. She has served on four governor-appointed state boards: the State AIDS Task force, the Governor’s Maternal and Child Health Advisory Board, the State Board of Nursing, and the Nevada Academy of Health. On a local level, she has served on more than 20 boards, including the Nevada Woman’s Fund, March of Dimes, HAWC Clinic, Nevada Hispanic Services, Public Broadcasting Station, and a State legislative Health Advisory committee. She was a founding member of Alliance of Latinas in Action and Solidarity, a group who started a school mentoring program for Hispanic young women and a founding member of Montreux Cares, a group in her community that does charitable work. She has attained many distinctions and awards, such as Nevada Women’s Role Model and the 2006 American Academy of Nurse Practitioners State Award for Excellence.
Henry R. Muñoz III is a successful entrepreneur, an award-winning designer, a cultural activist, and a well-respected philanthropist. He is Chairman of the Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer of Kell Muñoz Architects, Inc., the largest minority-owned design firm in Texas. Mr. Muñoz is also one of the nation’s most respected voices on the subject of Latino artistry, creativity, design and cultural impact. Through his leadership, Kell Muñoz Architects is engaged in a cultural and anthropological approach to architecture incorporating the Latino imprint on the built environment of the United States. His approach to cultural design has been featured in the New York Times, LA Times, USA Today, Architectural Record and Lehrer News Hour, amongst others. His work as a designer has been recognized with 56 juried design awards.
Mr. Muñoz is The Founding Chairman of The Alameda National Center for Latino Art and Culture. Under Muñoz’s leadership, The Alameda expanded its mission to include the first formal affiliation with the Smithsonian Institution. This idea of affiliations has empowered 153 communities in 48 states to enter into formal partnerships with our nation’s museum, allowing some of our country’s most important cultural artifacts to travel outside of Washington D.C. and be seen by the American people. In 1999, Mr. Muñoz accepted an appointment to The Smithsonian National Board; he was subsequently elected as Vice Chairman of the Board for three terms; Mr. Muñoz served as Chairman of The Smithsonian National Latino Board for seven years, subsequently he was named The Chairman Emeritus of The Smithsonian National Latino Board.
Mr. Muñoz is a founder of the effort to create a National Latino Museum on the mall in Washington D.C. He has extensive experience in museum planning, development, and management. In April 2009, Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced Mr. Muñoz as her appointment to The Commission established to study creation of a National Museum of the American Latino. Mr. Muñoz also serves as a Trustee of the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum and the San Antonio Museum of Art and is a member of the National Committee for the Performing Arts of the John F. Kennedy Center.
An American by choice, Eduardo Padrón is president of Miami Dade College. MDC enrolls and graduates more minorities than any other institution in the United States, including the largest numbers of Hispanics and African-Americans. He is nationally respected for his advocacy on behalf of underserved populations in higher education. His in-depth research report, “A Deficit of Understanding,” highlights the funding crisis that threatens access for low-income and minority students. He has served on several gubernatorial commissions and chaired or served numerous organizations including the Florida Humanities Council; the Florida Council of Presidents; the Council of 100; Dade-Miami Criminal Justice Council; Miami Parking Authority; the Hispanic American League Against Discrimination; NAACP; and Greater Miami United. He has been selected to serve in posts of national prominence by four American presidents. Internationally, President Padrón’s accomplishments have been recognized by numerous nations and organizations including the Republic of France, which named him Commandeur in the Ordre des Palms Académiques; the Republic of Argentina, which awarded him the Order of San Martin; and Spain’s King Juan Carlos II, who bestowed upon him the Order of Queen Isabella.
Cindy Peña has spent more than thirty years in business and community service in Denver. She enjoyed a broadcast career that spanned four decades as she rose through the ranks from college intern to station manager at one of the country’s most successful television stations, the Gannett owned KUSA TV. McGraw-Hill, owner of a competing television station, recognized Ms. Peña’s accomplishments and recruited her to engineer a turnaround at their Denver ABC affiliate, KMGH TV. Ms. Peña’s appointment made her the first Hispanic named to the position of General Manager at a major market network affiliate. In addition, Ms. Peña serves as Chair of El Centro Su Teatro’s Corazon de la Ciudad. In that role, she is leading the Capital Campaign Committee’s efforts in fundraising for a multi-million dollar cultural center to be built in Denver.
Born in Peru, she attended the American School of Lima and the Universidad de Salamanca School of Law in Spain. She returned to Lima to work in mining and petroleum law at Estudio Grau Abogados, one of the largest law firms in Peru. After joining the Peruvian Bar, she obtained a master’s degree in Comparative Law (L.L.M.) from the University Of Miami School of Law and a second law degree at Nova Southeastern University. In a Florida Bar competition, her essay, “Mini-Skirts and Multinationals,” discussing the extraterritorial application of discrimination laws in multinational corporations, won an award and was published in the California Western International Law Journal. A member of the Florida Bar and admitted to practice in all three of Florida’s U.S. District Courts, she concentrates on employment and immigration law. She has been a legal consultant for Plural Productions, a production company working with Univision. Ms. Pollak has fundraising experience with political campaigns as well as for non-profits such as Cancer Schmancer, Mission International Rescue, Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center, South Florida Youth Foundation and soon the Jennifer López Foundation. She is married and has three young children.
Sean D. Reyes is a litigation partner at Parsons Behle & Latimer, Utah's largest law firm. A summa cum laude graduate of Brigham Young University (1994), Reyes received his law degree from UC Berkeley (1997) and has garnered regional and national distinction for his legal skills as well as contributions to the business and political communities. In 2010, Reyes was honored as a Mountain States Super Lawyer and one of Utah's Legal Elite (for the fifth consecutive year). In 2009, he was acknowledged as one of the Forty Top Lawyers under the age of forty by the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association. Perhaps most prestigiously, in 2008, Reyes was selected by the American Bar Association as the first ever Outstanding Young Lawyer for the United States. In that same year, Reyes served on the Utah Delegation to the Republican National Convention, was selected as a Business Leader of the Year by the Utah Asian Chamber of Commerce and was the first BYU alumnus to ever receive the University's Outstanding Young Alumni Service Award. In 2008, Reyes was additionally highlighted as one of the Twenty Most Influential Hispanics in the Utah area and was chosen one of the Fifty Outstanding Asian Businesspersons in the United States by a national professional organization. In previous years, Reyes was honored as the Utah Young Lawyer of the Year, one of the Forty Under Forty Most Influential Leaders in Utah Business along with several other local and national awards. Reyes has the distinction of serving as a state pro tem judge and was appointed by former Governor Jon M. Huntsman to the Judicial Nominating Commission for Utah's largest district. Reyes has served on the Utah State Bar Commission, the governing body for the State and is the past President of the Utah Minority Bar Association. He has served on numerous boards for charitable and for-profit entities and helped establish both the Utah Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and its educational arm, the Somos Foundation. Currently, Reyes is President of the Somos Foundation (awarding over $600,000 to Hispanic students over the past five years), and serves on boards for the FBI Citizens Academy, Fraud College and the Utah Hispanic and Asian Chamber of Commerce, among others.
A frequent, lecturer, speaker and presenter, Reyes donates much of his time to mentoring students at all levels, taking pro bono cases and volunteering to serve the public through education. For example, over several years, Reyes helped supervise with the LDS Church a language program to teach English to thousands of immigrants in Utah and he is currently working to put on free education courses to the general public for avoiding fraudulent schemes and investments. He has served as a county and state delegate and a member of the State Central Committee for the Utah Republican Party, where he is also the Vice Chair of the Republican Hispanic Assembly and longtime member of the Utah Hispanic Latino Legislative Taskforce. Reyes has worked on several local and national campaigns and is running, himself, for Utah Attorney General in 2012.
Emma Sepulveda was born in Argentina and raised in Chile. She immigrated to the USA in 1974 and completed her B.A., M.A. at the University of Nevada Reno and eventually earned a Ph. D. from the University of California at Davis. She is the author or co-author of 17 books, including works of poetry, non-fiction, photography, literary criticism, and textbooks for the teaching of Spanish. For her work on behalf of Latinos in the USA she received the Latina Women of the Year Award in Literature from the GEMS international television network in 1997 in Miami. She was featured on the same network as one of the "Mujeres Protagonistas/Women Protagonists" of the Hispanic World. In 1998, she was selected as one of the examples of Latino life in the USA in the "Americanos" project put together by actor Edward James Olmos. In 2000, she received the Silver Pen Award, given to distinguished writers in Nevada. Emma is also an educator, and a community volunteer. She has been a board member of more than 25 organizations, among them Public Television, United Way, Girls Scouts, Habitat for Humanity, Public Radio, Nevada Museum of Art, and The National Conference for Christians & Jews. She was also a member of the U.S. Senate Hispanic Task Force. She was one of the riders in the Immigrants Workers Freedom Ride of 2003. At the present time Dr. Sepulveda is a Professor at the University of Nevada-Reno, continues to write, and is a columnist for the Reno Gazette Journal and Ahora Newspaper on Latino issues.
Danny Vargas is founder and president of VARCom Solutions, a Washington, D.C. area-based marketing and public relations firm. His firm’s clientele includes government contractors, technology and telecom firms, financial institutions, retail entities, non-profit organizations, political campaigns, and more.
He served as Chairman of the Dulles Regional Chamber of Commerce (the first Hispanic to chair a mainstream chamber in Virginia); National Chairman of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly; member of the board of directors of Northern Virginia Family Service: founder of the Hispanic GovCon Network; and regular speaker to students at various levels to encourage them to stay in school and work hard to succeed. At AOL, he was vice president of Global Sales for Voice Services, and later vice president for Latin America. He has served as vice president of Sales and Marketing for the Americas for France Telecom’s carrier division, after six years at Global One where he was Director of Corporate and Carrier sales for the Americas Region. He also served seven years in the U.S. Air Force, including five years in Panama where he supervised airborne reconnaissance missions, prior to working for Raytheon Corporation for five years. He appears regularly in national media as a commentator on political, business and international issues.
Cid Wilson has worked in the financial services industry since 1993. In 2006, Wilson was ranked #1 equity financial analyst in his field by Forbes in its annual ranking of the Best Wall Street Financial Analysts in America. He is the Senior Equity Research Analyst for Cabrera Capital Markets LLC in New York City. He serves on the Ethnic Advisory Board for PepsiCo Inc. and the Consumer Advisory Board for Verizon Communications.
In addition to his corporate energies, he serves on the boards of directors of some of the leading non-profit organizations in the nation including LatinoJustice PRLDEF (formerly the Puerto Rican Legal Defense & Education Fund) since 2005, the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) since 2008, and Dominicans On Wall Street (DOWS) since its founding. He is the former National President of the Dominican American National Roundtable (DANR) from 2004 to 2006. He is a "Gold Life Member" of the NAACP. As a national Afro-Latino activist, he is a regular speaker at the NCLR and National Urban League annual conferences discussing Afro-Latino history and culture.
Wilson resides in Leonia, New Jersey where he is a dedicated statewide community leader. He is the Vice Chairman of the Board of Trustees at Bergen Community College and he's the Chairman of the Board for the Bergen County Relief Center. He serves on the State Board of the New Jersey Council of County Colleges.
In September 2009, President Barack Obama appointed Wilson to serve on the National Museum of the American Latino Study Commission with the mission of presenting a plan to the President on the proposed creation and construction of a museum to capture the 500 years of history of Latinos in U.S.
Wilson's corporate and community success have gotten him numerous attentions in the media. He has been featured, sourced, and quoted in numerous publications and news media including The Wall Street Journal, Investor's Business Daily, USA Today, New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, Hispanic Magazine, WNBC-TV, WABC-TV, Univision, Telemundo, Bloomberg TV, and numerous other media. In February 2004, Wilson made the cover page of Black Enterprise Magazine and in January 2008, he was profiled by ABC News for his balance of corporate and community leadership. He is a frequent guest on the TV show "New Jersey NOW" on My-9 TV (WWOR-TV, New York/Secaucus).
He is a graduate of The Ohio State University. He is a life member of The Ohio State University Alumni Association. He is a lifelong resident of Bergen County, NJ having attended both public schools and Catholic school in Bergen County.