National Hispana Leadership Institute - Celebrating 20 Years of Latina Leadership Search
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Alumna of the Year


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Since its inception in 1988 the NHLI Executive Leadership Program has graduated over 500 Latinas. Our alumnae span the globe and impact thousands of lives through their professional and personal contributions in their communities. In 2010 NHLI instituted a new award category to recognize a graduate who embodies the ideals of NHLI and has demonstrated great accomplishments. The Alumna of the Year award will highlight exceptional leaders who have completed the Executive Leadership Program.


Rita Jaramillo pic

María Rita Jaramillo
1988 NHLI Alumna
Senior Liaison, Minority Community Outreach


Ms. Rita Jaramillo has an impressive career in the public sector as well as an inspiring community service record. She currently serves with the National Education Association where she focuses on external partnerships and advocacy. In this capacity, Ms. Jaramillo assists NEA in developing new partnerships and joint activities on behalf of its members. Prior to joining the NEA, she served for five terms as Chief of Staff to Congressman Rubén Hinojosa. Ms. Jaramillo served as the Congressman's senior advisor on policy matters. She oversaw the Congressman's committee assignments including Education and the Workforce, Financial Services and Banking, and Small Business, and the Education Taskforce of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Ms. Jaramillo also served in the Clinton Administration, Office of Presidential Personnel where she was responsible for identifying and recommending Latinos for senior level appointments. She has held senior management positions in the Departments of Interior, Agriculture, Treasury and the Corporation for National Service. A member of several civic and Latino organizations, Ms. Jaramillo has held such leadership positions as Vice Chair for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, National President of MANA, Chair of the National Latino Children's Institute, Vice Chair of the Hispanic Engineering Science Technology Initiative, member of the founding class of the National Hispana Leadership Institute, and Board Chair of the Center for Women Policy Studies. Ms. Jaramillo is the recipient of the National Council of La Raza and Harvard University Fellowship. She holds a B.A. in Bilingual Education and Mass Communications from New Mexico Highlands University, a M.A. in Education from Washington State University, and a M.P.A. from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.