About the Award
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. This year 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 highlights exceptional leaders who have completed the Executive Leadership Program.
Ambassador Carmen Lomellin
1988 NHLI Alumna
Appointed on November 20, 2009 by President Obama, Ambassador Carmen Lomellin was confirmed by the United States Senate, as Permanent U.S. Representative to the Organization of American States. Prior to her appointment, Ambassador Lomellin served as Executive Secretary of the Inter-American Commission of Women (CIM) for the Organization of American States (OAS) appointed by Secretary General Cesar Gaviria, in May 1998. She served as CIM Executive Secretary until March of 2009. In that position, she provided guidance and direction to the OAS member states and Permanent Secretariat on hemispheric policy advancing issues affecting women, particularly in the areas of human rights and gender equality. As head of the CIM Permanent Secretariat,
Ambassador Lomellin oversaw the activities of the Commission’s delegates representing the 34 democracies of the Western Hemisphere and managed the daily operations of the Permanent Secretariat. She most recently served as Director for Outreach within the OAS Department of External Relations.
During the Clinton Administration, Ambassador Lomellin held the positions of White House Liaison for the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and Director of that agency’s Office of International Affairs. She was an Advisor on Hispanic Affairs to the White House Office for Women’s Initiatives and Outreach, as well as Search Manager in the White House Office of Presidential Personnel during the 1996 presidential transition, where she worked on sub-cabinet appointments in the area of international trade.
Ambassador Lomellin has experience in local government. In Chicago, Illinois, she worked for Mayor Richard M. Daley as Director of the Private Industry Council of Chicago, and also implemented and managed one of the nation’s most successful graffiti abatement programs. Ambassador Lomellin worked for the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund where she was the Director of Leadership Development, and for Chicago United, a civic think tank, as Director of Economic Development. In addition, she has extensive experience in the private sector, working for the Chicago-based Inland Steel Company in various sales and marketing capacities.
Ambassador Lomellin holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Management from St. Joseph’s Calumet College and a Master’s in Business Administration in International Business from De Paul University, Chicago, Illinois. Ambassador Lomellin has spent a major part of her professional career and personal life working on women’s issues, particularly those in the United States Hispanic community.