National Hispana Leadership Institute - Celebrating 27 Years of Latina Leadership  
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Class of 1988

Message from NHLI President Cristina Lopez

Cristina LopezDear NHLI Friends:

As NHLI’s new President, I wanted to introduce myself and begin what I know will be a great friendship with a warm hello.

First, I want to thank all of you who have sent congratulations messages welcoming me to the NHLI family.  I am extremely honored to have been selected to lead NHLI.  I have long been a fan of the program and deeply believe in its mission: to develop Hispanas as ethical leaders through training, professional development, relationship building, and community and world activism.

For more than two decades I have worked in the non-profit sector in Washington DC.  I started my career at the National Council of La Raza where for over seven years I had the opportunity to work with many NHLI alumnae and friends from both the nonprofit and corporate sectors. After NCLR, I joined Mosaica: The Center for Nonprofit Development and Pluralism, where, as Vice President, I continued my work in health and organizational development targeting Latino community-based organizations.  For the last nine years I have been the Deputy Executive Director at the Center for Community Change, where I have continued to focus on issues important to the Latino community and have been particularly involved in the Center’s immigration work. Joining NHLI makes me feel I have come full circle, returning to my roots in the Latino community

I believe the core of NHLI is the exceptional community of Latinas we work with and the national partners that support us. I hope to meet each and everyone of our alumnae, funders and partners over the coming months; and look forward to discussing with you ways in which NHLI can continue to fulfill its mission and to better understand how we can build upon our strengths. 

NHLI is poised to capitalize on its outstanding 20-year reputation and fabulous relationships.  I am eager to explore ideas to expand our programs and grow our network.  I welcome you input, and please do not hesitate to call or email me ( with any questions or ideas.

I am humbled by the responsibility of leading this institution.  Marisa Rivera-Albert has done an outstanding job heading NHLI over the last decade.  The departure of such a dynamic director poses healthy challenges for any organization.  I am extremely fortunate to be joined by a dedicated, talented staff and an engaged, visionary Board of Directors in addressing these challenges. With your continued collaboration, we will build on the momentum of Marisa’s leadership and ensure that NHLI remains the premier Latina leadership program.  Together we will continue to grow NHLI.

Thanks for your support

Cristina Lopez