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For Immediate Release: Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Contact: Cheryl Aguilar 703-527-6007, ext 16 (office) or 202-360-7867 (cell)

2008 National Hispana Leadership Institute Alumna Heads to the United States Department of Agriculture


(Washington, DC) This past Saturday May 15, Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced Lisa Pino as Deputy Administrator for USDA’s Food and Nutrition Service.  

The National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI), the premier leadership organization for Latinas, congratulates Lisa Pino and applauds Secretary Vilsack for this appointment.


In these crucial economic times, American families couldn’t have a better ally working on their behalf. Pino possesses the understanding, compassion, and skills required to increase food security and reduce hunger by providing children and low-income people access to food, a healthy diet, and nutrition education, which are Food and Nutrition Service’s goals.

Pino’s more than a decade experience empowering and working with Latino and underserved communities through education, outreach, the arts, and legal assistance will enable her to perform an outstanding job in this new capacity.

NHLI is proud of Pino’s accomplishments and is confident her contribution and dedication will positively impact millions of people across the country.

Lisa Pino graduated from NHLI’s Executive Leadership Program in 2008.  Pino most recently served as Director of Public Affairs for the International Institute of the Americas College in Phoenix, AZ. She has  worked with the Florence Immigrant Rights and Refugee Project as well as the Community Legal Services Farmworker Unit in rural Arizona. Pino, J.D., is a graduate of the Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law at Arizona State University, where she also completed her B.A. and M.A.  As a law student, she was an ABA CLEO Thurgood Marshall Fellow, and also received awards for her dedication to public service from the Hispanic National Bar Association and the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. Pino was also a participant  in the White House Project program in NY in 2008.

In late November 2008, Lisa Pino was among the more than 200 Latinas from across the country who participated in a national telephonic conference organized by NHLI’s Campaign to Ensure Latina Inclusion in the New Administration (CELINA) to learn how to apply to jobs in the new administration. Through CELINA, NHLI will continue to elevate the visibility of qualified Latinas among the lists of candidates for consideration to key government positions.


"This news serves as a testament to NHLI's sincere commitment to cultivating leaders who are genuinely ready to take their steadfast intention to helping communities to the next level. Thank you NHLI- for rejuvenating faith in my dreams, for encouraging me to dream big, and for continually reminding me that anything is possible while providing me with the tools and support that I needed along the way. I feel blessed, humble, and immensely grateful,” said Pino.


To learn more about NHLI’s Executive Leadership Program click here.



The National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI) is a national leadership development organization focused on Latina leaders. For more than 20 years, NHLI has developed hundreds of Latina leaders who have gone on to become elected officials, corporate executives, entrepreneurs, executives at non-profits and powerful decision makers. Founded  in 1987 to address the disparity of representation of Latinas in leadership, NHLI’s mission is to develop Hispanas as ethical world leaders through training, professional development, relationship building, and community activism.