About Us

Mission & History

Voto Latino is a pioneering civic media organization that seeks to transform America by recognizing Latinos’ innate leadership. Through innovative digital campaigns, pop culture, and grassroots voices, we provide culturally relevant programs that engage, educate and empower Latinos to be agents of change. Together, we aim to build a stronger and more inclusive democracy.

A Note From
María Teresa Kumar

María Teresa Kumar

President & CEORead Note

It’s hard to imagine an America without Latinos. At Voto Latino, we are fundamentally aware that you – our community — are the new builders and makers in this country. But to do all you can do, there has to be some level of access and opportunity. This is why VL exists: to give you a roadmap for how to become leaders, educators, entrepreneurs, and really anything else you deem possible.

It’s true, that in the beginning, our core work was around voter registration. This was largely because it was, and remains, a key way to show our community’s strength. But since our founding by Rosario Dawson in 2004, we’ve expanded our programs from civic engagement to include leadership development and issue advocacy. Together, we have registered over a quarter million voters, innovated the use of voter registration through text messaging, helped our community be counted in the US Census, and co-founded National Voter Registration Day. We’ve also started the VL Power Summit conference to bring young people together with key leaders, and have given away half a million dollars to young Latino innovators.

Our work has received numerous awards, and while the accolades are nice – it’s the rise of the American Latino voice and how it will shape our country’s future that keeps us excited and invested.

The best part, I think, is that we’re just getting started. The next ten years of work is even more paramount to our shared future. I encourage you to join us. It doesn’t take much, but it does require that you show up. Start by signing up for our email newsletter here to learn about ways you can participate. Not for us, but for you and for the loved ones who have brought you this far.

Adelante,

María Teresa Kumar
President & CEO

Rosario Dawson

Rosario Dawson

Co-Founder and ChairwomanRead Note

In 2004 Voto Latino was simply an idea based on the state of our community as it was, but also as it could be. I envisioned reaching out to other people like me by leveraging the latest technology, media, social networks and high-profile artists to get them involved in the civic process.

Plenty of people thought we were nuts. Social media and texting were in the early stages, no one was talking about the Latino vote, let alone Millennials, and we were reaching out to our audience in English. But we rolled the dice and —  with the help of thousands of volunteers, partners and supporters – American Latinos heard the calling.

We have accomplished a lot because you have shown up. But we’re hardly done. So if you haven’t joined the Voto Latino familia yet, today is the day. Follow us on social media and signup for our email newsletter here to get updates on how to get involved. Because the simple truth is that without you there is no Voto Latino.

Adelante,

Rosario Dawson
Co-Founder & Chairwoman

We Need Your Help

Help us provide more young Latinos the tools to become agents of change.

In 2004, Voto Latino began as a PSA project organized by co-founder Rosario Dawson. Over the years we’ve evolved into an organization dedicated to providing young Latinos the tools to create a future of their choosing. Check out what that history looks like below:

Team

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Rosario Dawson

Co-Founder & Chairwoman

Rosario Dawson is an actress and co-founder of Voto Latino. She currently serves as Chair of Voto Latino’s Board of Directors.

Dawson made her film debut in the movie, Kids, and has since appeared in Men In Black II, The 25th Hour, Sin City, Rent, Seven Pounds, Unstoppable, Trance, Gimme Shelter, Sin City: A Dame to Kill For, Chavez, and Top Five.

Rosario Dawson is not only an award-winning actress with a 20-year career, but an all around creative, out-of-the-box innovative powerhouse whose work ranges from film production to social activism to fashion, design and technology. Along with her work at Voto Latino, Dawson serves on the board of the Lower Eastside Girls Club in Manhattan, V-Day, and Operation USA.

Most notably, Dawson was awarded the President’s Volunteer Service Award for her valuable contributions to the community and encouragement in getting others involved. Dawson’s journey has also taken her to Africa where she is a creative director and designer at Studio One Eighty Nine, an online platform she co-founded to curate and showcase beautiful work celebrating craftsmanship, heritage, and design.

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María Teresa Kumar

President & CEO

María Teresa Kumar is the founding President and CEO of Voto Latino, an Emmy-nominated contributor with MSNBC and host of MSNBC’s web show Changing America. Under her leadership, Voto Latino has become a key factor in national elections and garnered several prestigious awards including several Promax Gold and Webby Honorees.  Fast Company has named her among the most 100 Creative Minds in business. In 2013, Elle Magazine named her one of the 10 most influential women in Washington, DC. Hispanic Business named her among the 100 most influential Latinos in America and Hispanic Executive named her among the top 10 most influential Latinos in the country. HBO’s Celebrity Habla and PBS’s Undergraduates have profiled her work. Maria Teresa co-Chaired the Aspen Task Force on Connected Learning. The Imagen Foundation, HOPE, Hispanic Heritage Foundation, and DEMOS are among the organizations that have recognized her leadership.

She is a frequent guest analyst on NPR and PBS, a panelist on Bill Maher’s HBO show, an opinion writer for national publications, and a sought after speaker at major conferences including GE, Prudential, Intel, SXSW, NetRoots Nation, Personal Democracy Forum, and TEDx.

María Teresa serves on the national boards of EMILY’s List, Planned Parenthood Federation and the Latino Leaders Network. She is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, a Hunt Alternative Fund Prime Mover and a Council on Foreign Relations Term Member.

She started her career as a legislative aide for then-Democratic Caucus Chair Vic Fazio, and graduated from Harvard’s Kennedy School and the University of California at Davis. When not in DC, Maria Teresa travels with her husband Raj Kumar and their two babes Lucia Mercedes and Eduardo.

Brandon Hernandez

Vice-Chair

Brandon Hernandez is Director in PG&E’s Corporate Affairs Department and serves as lead Government Relations Director on Major Capital Projects. He oversees external, strategic roll-out of PG&E’s electric capital investments, proactively working with local jurisdictions to implement projects while communicating the benefits of these investments.

Brandon’s seven years with PG&E includes stakeholder outreach at the local, state and national levels, working closely with key business, civic, and community leaders. Previously, he spent over 10 years in the public and private sector that included work in the United States Senate and the office of the Speaker of the California State Assembly and spent time in Washington D.C. and New York City managing public affairs for the Federal Home Loan Bank of San Francisco.

Brandon holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from the University of California at Berkeley. He is actively involved in the community and currently serves on the national boards for Voto Latino, Victory Fund Institute and Friends of the National Museum of the American Latino. He’s been recognized by San Francisco’s 7×7 magazine as one of the “Hot 20 Under 40” and received Equality California’s Leadership Award for his efforts to help secure the freedom to marry for all Californians.

Alfredo Vidal

Secretary

Alfredo M. Vidal is the President of the boutique lobbying firm, The Vidal Group, LLC. Under Alfredo’s leadership, The Vidal Group has represented a diverse client base, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to nonprofits.

Before starting The Vidal Group, LLC, Alfredo worked in New York as an Ombudsman for the Secretary of State, the Director of Finance for the Division of Human Rights, the Assistant Director of Intergovernmental and Legislative Affairs for Governor Cuomo and as the Senior Internal Auditor for the Department of Transportation. In the private sector he worked as an Associate for Weinraub and Ostroff, LLC, as a Senior Associate with Ostroff Associates, LLC, and as a partner at Brown, Vidal and Weinraub, LLC.

In 2010, the New York State Assembly Puerto Rican and Hispanic task force presented him with their Community Service Award, recognizing his outstanding contribution and advocacy for the social and economic advancement of the people of the Puerto Rican and Hispanic Community of New York. He was also featured in The Capitol’s Top 40 Under 40 Rising Stars.

Alfredo holds a Bachelor’s degree from Syracuse University in International Relations and Spanish Language, Literature and Culture and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs.

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Danny Villa

Member

Danny Villa is the Executive Vice President of MME/filmpool. Danny was born in the super humid city of Miami, Florida. At age 18, he stumbled onto an opportunity of lifetime – slaving away for producers at MTV Latin America. It was there where he began to hone his skills as a doer who likes to make it happen. Soon after, he helped produce a local TV show centered around the beautiful people of South Beach. No one watched, but damn did he have fun. It wasn’t until the year 2000 where Danny doubled down on his TV dreams by heading to a less humid place called Hollywood, California.

It was there where Danny took a job working in the Talent and Series Development department at MTV. He grew from a boy to a man, working on a raft of shows including The Osbournes, Punk’d, and Yo Momma, as well as the launch of MTV’s Latin Network MTV3. In 2007, Danny did a stretch as VP of Wilmer Valderrama Enterprises before heading to OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network in 2010. While at OWN, he learned about these things called “feelings and emotions” as their Vice President of Programming and Development, helping launch the channel. Danny cherished his experience working for the most powerful woman in entertainment, but even Oprah could not hold him back from destiny.

In September 2013, after successfully establishing the LA office of UK production company Twofour by rapidly setting up several cable series, Danny was quickly snatched up by entertainment giant ALL3 Media to launch the American office of German television powerhouse MME/filmpool. As their new Executive Vice President, Danny is responsible for creating, selling and producing original series in the U.S. while working with MME/filmpool in Germany to help the company adapt content from the United States.

Sergio Alfaro

Member

Sergio Alfaro is the CEO of Eclipse Television, a full-service independent producer and financier of small-screen content. Alfaro was previously the President of Big Vida Entertainment and Open Water Studios, and Senior Vice President of Pink Sneakers Productions. He brings a broad background of production experience, including live concerts, specials, awards shows, and charity events. Alfaro has volunteered for over a decade and served on the Board of Directors of the Dream Street Foundation, a nonprofit for children with chronic and life threatening illnesses.  Most recently, he co-founded & is the President of The Alfaro Do Good Foundation, a nonprofit whose mission is to change the world one good deed at a time.  

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Nathalie Rayes

Member

Nathalie Rayes is the U.S. National Public Relations Director for Grupo Salinas and the Executive Director of Fundación Azteca America. Rayes previously served as Deputy Chief of Staff to Los Angeles Mayor James K. Hahn, Senior Policy Advisor to Los Angeles Councilmember Mike Feuer, and Department of State Fellow in the Economic/Political Section of the United States Embassy in Cairo, Egypt. She also serves as a United States Presidential appointee to the Board of Trustees of the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars, as well as the Board of Directors of Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute and Planned Parenthood Federation of America. Rayes resides in Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, with her husband, Dr. Tarek Samad, and their sons, Julian and Alexander.

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Wilmer Valderrama

Member

Wilmer Valderrama most recently starred in the FOX/Amblin Entertainment series MINORITY REPORT, a sequel to the 2002 Steven Spielberg-directed movie. Valderrama also recently starred in FROM DUSK TILL DAWN, Robert Rodriguez & Quentin Tarantino’s first original television series, as ‘Carlos Madrigal,’ the series’ main villain.

Up next, Valderrama will voice ‘Prince Charming’ in the John H. Williams animated film CHARMING, opposite, Ashley Tisdale, Avril Lavigne and Demi Lovato. Most recently, Valderrama starred in the indie dramas THE GIRL IS IN TROUBLE, from director Julius Onah and Executive Producer Spike Lee; TO WHOM IT MAY CONCERN from French director Manu Boyer and THE ADDERIAL DIARIES, opposite Amber Heard and James Franco, which premiered at the 2015 Tribeca Film Festival. His other film credits include, LARRY CROWNE, FROM PRADA TO NADA and FAST FOOD NATION.

Valderrama is most recognized for his role as ‘Fez’ on FOX’s Emmy-nominated series THAT 70S SHOW, a role that garnered him numerous Teen Choice Awards and an ALMA Award nomination. Valderrama also lent his voice to the character ‘Manny’ on the Disney Channel’s animated children’s program HANDY MANDY. His other television credits include AWAKE, RAISING HOPE, SUBURGATORY, ROYAL PAINS and WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE.

Behind the camera, Valderrama created and produced the MTV series YO MOMMA, also serving as the host for all three seasons, in addition to producing other MTV series such as PUNK’D, BLOWIN’ UP and TRIPPIN’.

As for his philanthropic efforts, Valderrama has directed several PSA’s for multiple organizations such as Voto Latino, where he stands as co-chair, and the Environmental Media Association, where he is an Executive Board member. Valderrama is the spokesperson for CHCI, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, and is the founder of their Ready 2 Lead program, which educates and empowers the Latino youth. He is also working with President Obama’s Organizing for Action campaign on future efforts involving immigration reform and education.

Born in Miami and then moved to Venezuela with his family at the age of three, Valderrama is fluent in both Spanish and English. Later, when Valderrama was 13, his family relocated to Los Angeles.

Valderrama currently resides in Los Angeles.

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María Teresa Kumar

President & CEO

María Teresa Kumar is the founding President and CEO of Voto Latino, an Emmy-nominated contributor with MSNBC and host of MSNBC’s web show Changing America. Under her leadership, Voto Latino has become a key factor in national elections and garnered several prestigious awards including several Promax Gold and Webby Honorees. Fast Company has named her among the most 100 Creative Minds in business. In 2013, Elle Magazine named her one of the 10 most influential women in Washington, DC. Hispanic Business named her among the 100 most influential Latinos in America and Hispanic Executive named her among the top 10 most influential Latinos in the country. HBO’s Celebrity Habla and PBS’s Undergraduates have profiled her work. Maria Teresa Co-Chaired the Aspen Task Force on Connected Learning. The Imagen Foundation, HOPE, Hispanic Heritage Foundation, and DEMOS are among the organizations that have recognized her leadership.

She is a frequent guest analyst on NPR and PBS, a panelist on Bill Maher’s HBO show, an opinion writer for national publications, and a sought after speaker at major conferences including GE, Prudential, Intel, SXSW, NetRoots Nation, Personal Democracy Forum, and TEDx.

María Teresa serves on the national boards of EMILY’s List, Planned Parenthood Federation and the Latino Leaders Network. She is a World Economic Forum Young Global Leader, a Hunt Alternative Fund Prime Mover and a Council on Foreign Relations Term Member.

She started her career as a legislative aide for then-Democratic Caucus Chair Vic Fazio, and graduated from Harvard’s Kennedy School and the University of California at Davis. When not in DC, Maria Teresa travels with her husband Raj Kumar and their two babes Lucia Mercedes and Eduardo.

Degrees: MPP, Harvard Kennedy School of Government; BA, UC Davis

Heritage: Colombian-American

Fact:  Maria Teresa has traveled to 33 countries.

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Jessica Reeves

Chief Operating Officer

Jessica Reeves is the Chief Operating Officer at Voto Latino. In her role, she is responsible for developing and managing key partnerships and programs that help to advance the organization’s mission to bring new and diverse voices into the political process by engaging youth, media, technology and celebrities to promote positive change.

Since joining Voto Latino in 2010, Jessica has been a leading player within the organization in cultivating partnerships with media, corporations and nonprofits to develop wide-impact civic engagement programs, including the inaugural National Voter Registration Day held September 25, 2012.

Prior to joining Voto Latino, Jessica worked in General and Hispanic Market advertising where she helped launch award-winning digital and social media marketing campaigns for major brands, including Kraft, Twix and Domino’s Pizza among others.

Jessica earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Communications from Boston College and a Master of Arts in Latin American studies from Georgetown University. She lives in Austin, Texas with her husband and two adorable Boston Terriers.

Degrees:  BA, Boston College; MA, Georgetown University

Heritage: Texican

Fact: She has recently become that crazy dog person.

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Maria Urbina

VP of Politics & National Campaigns

Maria Urbina is the VP of Politics & National Campaigns at Voto Latino where she is charged with developing a voter engagement strategy, running multiple national campaigns, and heading up the political arm of Voto Latino.

Before joining Voto Latino, Maria served as the Senior Advisor for Hispanic and Asian Affairs in the office of Democratic Leader Harry Reid (D-NV). In this role, Maria advised Senator Reid on policy, political strategy and outreach affecting Latino and Asian American communities in Nevada and across the country. Maria also worked with influential Latino and Asian American groups to elevate their advocacy within the Democratic Caucus of the U.S. Senate. Prior to joining Senator Reid’s senior staff, Maria served as his legislative correspondence manager and immigration legislative correspondent and aide. In addition to her Senate work, Maria has worked on Latino political outreach in several key campaigns, including for Senator Reid in 2010, President Obama in 2012 and Senator Mark Udall in 2014.

Maria was raised in Carson City, Nevada and is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, where she majored in political science and journalism.

Maria is a proud alumnus of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Public Policy Fellowship program and was selected by American University’s Women & Politics Institute to participate in the WeLEAD Leadership Training Program for young women in politics.

Degrees: BA, University of Nevada, Reno

Heritage: Nicaragüense

Fact: Eyewear, zumba and flag football. In that order.

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Steve Alfaro

Senior Advisor

Steve Alfaro is an artist and activist from Los Angeles, California. As an art student he interned as a motion graphics designer at LATV, a bilingual music and entertainment network.  He went on to work at SiTV (now Fuse ), a leading cable channel for bicultural Latinos, where he helped develop branding campaigns for reality shows including Jammin’, Model Latina, and the Crash the Parties political reporting contest. In 2008 he joined Voto Latino in Washington DC, the nation’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to increasing civic participation within Latino youth. He has overseen the design of Voto Latino’s award winning initiatives for the past four years. His work has garnered multiple awards and recognitions including a Webby recognition Award for Crash the Parties, a MySpace Impact Award for Online Organizing and in 2011, Voto Latino was nominated for an Emmy award for their town hall special with MSNBC. Steve also continues to contribute as an independent artist; in 2009 he displayed his work at the Manifest HOPE exhibit held before the inauguration of President Barack Obama, and in 2011, GOOD Magazine and the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy highlighted his work.

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Vanessa Garcia

Finance & HR Director

Vanessa Garcia is Voto Latino’s Finance and HR Director. In this role, Vanessa is responsible for strengthening and aligning financial, accounting and HR functions with VL’s goals. Prior to Voto Latino, Vanessa served as a Finance & Administration Director, where she oversaw a team of four and managed the full-cycle of financials, reporting and accounting responsibilities. Her experience also includes five years as a finance manager for a multinational company where she managed day-to-day finances, bookkeeping and payroll for three offices. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance from George Washington University.

Vanessa is a first generation immigrant, born and raised in Bolivia. Vanessa believes in the American dream and in the power of education. She founded the Ilumina Scholarship Program in 2007 to help Bolivian youth in her community attend college. Vanessa is also a board member for the Pro-Bolivian Committee, an organization that promotes Bolivian folklore in the United States. When she’s not working, you can find her traveling, dancing Caporales or organizing family events. Her favorite thing to eat in the world is Aji de Lengua, a native Bolivian dish.

Degrees: BS, George Washington University

Heritage: Bolivian

Fact: Vanessa went shark diving in Dubai!

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Dennis Gonzalez

Director of Partnerships

Dennis Gonzalez is the Director of Partnerships at Voto Latino where he organizes and manages Voto Latino’s Power Summit conferences as well as other leadership development initiatives. Before joining Voto Latino in 2013, Dennis worked with the GEAR UP program at the University of Texas San Antonio and in social justice and diversity education at the University of Texas at Austin. In California, Dennis worked with the GEAR UP program as well as in the College of Engineering at University of California, Davis.

He received a bachelors of arts degree in Chicana/o Studies and Political Science from the University of California, Davis and a master’s degree in Mexican American Studies from San Jose State University. He has also served as a national officer for Gamma Zeta Alpha Latino-Interest Fraternity and the National Association of Latino Fraternal Organizations (NALFO). Dennis is originally from Los Angeles, California and of Salvadoran descent.

Degrees: BA Political Science, BA Chicana/o Studies, UC Davis; MA Mexican American Studies, San Jose State University

Heritage:  Salvadoran

Fact: Dennis has attended both the Women’s and Men’s World Cup tournaments.

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Maria Samaniego

Director of Development

Maria Samaniego is the Director of Development at Voto Latino, where she manages key corporate relationships and event production to advance the organization’s mission. 

Prior to joining VL, she managed partnerships and grant deliverables for Occidental College’s Neighborhood Partnership Program, organized leadership conferences for middle and high school students, and trained undergraduates in data-driven best practices to increase the numbers of underrepresented youth in higher education. María has also served as the National Director of Cultural Affairs for Lambda Theta Nu Sorority, Inc., where she guided Latina students in developing culturally-relevant programming for their campuses and as a board member for Viva Panama, a California-based nonprofit focused on raising awareness of Panamanian culture.

María holds a Master’s degree in Education from Michigan State, a Master’s degree in Latin American Studies from CSULA and a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Chicano Studies from the University of California, Davis where she was awarded the Vice Chancellor’s Service Excellence Award.

María enjoys dancing Banda and Salsa, demonstrating pride in both her Mexican and Panamanian cultures.  

Degrees: MAED, Michigan State; MA, CSULA; BA, UC Davis

Heritage: Panamanian and Mexican

Fact: She co-founded Tacomiendo, a DC-based taco blog.

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Audrey Lopez

Communications Manager

Audrey Lopez is the Communications Manager at Voto Latino. She oversees health and immigration initiatives, and crafts VL’s response to breaking news and current events through statements, press releases, OpEds, and more. Audrey serves as lead strategist on key campaigns, including sexual and reproductive health and rights, the Affordable Care Act, race relations, immigration, and more. Prior to working for Voto Latino, she worked for the House of Representatives with Congressman Luis V. Gutierrez as his scheduler and advisor on policy including Puerto Rico, education, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus.

She is a graduate from the University of Tampa where she got her Bachelor of Science in Criminology with minors in both Law & Justice and Government & World Affairs. She is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Strategic Communications from American University.

Degrees: BS, University of Tampa; Pursuing MA, American University

Heritage: Dominican

Fact: She is a diehard NY Yankees fan and hopes to one day meet Derek Jeter.

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Avery Lord

Communications & Data Analyst

Avery Lord is the Communications & Data Analyst at Voto Latino, providing strategic communications and quantitative analytics across Voto Latino’s initiatives and campaigns.

Avery graduated from Wake Forest University with a bachelor of arts in Political Science and a double minor in Latin American & Latino Studies and Spanish. While at Wake Forest, Avery worked with the local immigrant community as a tutor at El Buen Pastor Latino Community Services and as a Vocational English Instructor at World Relief, a local refugee resettlement organization. Avery is a VL lifer, joining Voto Latino after graduation in 2012 as a Campaigns Intern and then as the Executive Assistant to the President & CEO.

She is a proud New Englander and enjoys playing soccer, reading, skiing and taking online geography quizzes.

Degrees: BA, Wake Forest University

Heritage: Scottish and Irish

Fact: Avery is a big fan of the Avett Brothers and J.Cole, neither of whom have ever responded to her tweets.

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Roxana Moreno

Digital Community Manager

Roxana Moreno is the Digital Community Manager at Voto Latino. In her role, she manages all of Voto Latino’s social media platforms and works to engage the community in thought-provoking discussion. She also leads the social media marketing strategy for Voto Latino’s key campaigns including sexual and reproductive health, the Affordable Care Act, and the annual Power Summit, among others. 

Roxana earned her bachelor’s degree in Political Economy and minored in Ethnic Studies from the University of California, Berkeley. She currently serves as a board member of NSHMBA DC, an organization that is committed to empowering Latino professionals. She is also the co-founder of the Washington, DC metro area based blog Tacomiendo. Roxana is a California native and proud daughter of immigrants from Jalisco, Mexico.

Degrees: BA, UC Berkeley

Heritage: Mexican

Fact: She’s a Chivista!

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Michelle Cogut

Designer

As the Graphic Design Associate, Michelle Cogut is responsible for creating the visuals seen across Voto Latino’s social media platforms, initiatives, campaigns and events. She joined Voto Latino in 2013 after graduating from American University in Washington, DC with a bachelors in graphic design and minors in marketing and communications. Michelle also received training in front-end development from General Assembly in 2015. Her photography has been exhibited at the University of the District of Columbia’s Gallery 42 and VisArt’s Kaplan Gallery, and she received an honorable mention from the Art Director’s Club of Metropolitan Washington for her design work.

Michelle was born and raised in the DC area, but most of her family lives in Buenos Aires. When not pushing pixels or staring at code, Michelle likes to travel, go to concerts, work on freelance projects (like Tacomiendo, a DC-based taco blog she co-founded) and sail on the Chesapeake.

Degrees: BA, American University

Heritage: Argentine and Polish

Fact: Michelle is a lifelong pescetarian.

Kelly Carrera

Executive Assistant

Kelly Carrera is the Executive Assistant to Voto Latino’s President and CEO, Maria Teresa Kumar. Whether it be coordinating an important meeting or scheduling an appearance on MSNBC, Kelly embraces her role in managing every detail of the President’s busy schedule. 

Before coming to VL, Kelly interned with the White House Office of Public Engagement where she worked to coordinate numerous events and meetings for Senior Staff Officials to discuss the President’s agenda on immigration reform. Kelly recently graduated from the University of Maryland, College Park, with a B.S. in Geographical Sciences and a minor in Global Poverty. 

Kelly has lived in the DMV her whole life. The daughter of a Nicaraguan mother and an Ecuadorian father, she is proud to consider herself part of “las tres Americas.” Outside of work, she can usually be found enjoying any number of the weekend events D.C. has to offer.

Degrees: BS, University of Maryland, College Park

Heritage: Nicaraguan/Ecuadorian

Fact: The first item on Kelly’s bucket list is to ride an elephant in Thailand.

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Mario Carrillo

Communications Director

Mario was born in Chihuahua, Mexico and migrated to El Paso, Texas with his family when he was five. Since then, he has committed his life to helping those in need, namely from immigrant communities both in the U.S. and abroad. After completing his bachelor’s degree at the University of Texas at San Antonio, Mario served as a Peace Corps youth development specialist for two years in Costa Rica, working predominantly with Nicaraguan immigrant children and youth at local community schools.

Since then, he’s received a Master of Arts degree in journalism from the University of Texas at Austin, and has spent the last two years as the communications manager for United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the country, developing a national communications strategy for the organization’s various local and national campaigns.

Degrees: MA, University of Texas at Austin, BS, University of Texas at San Antonio

Heritage: Mexican

Fact: Mario knows more than 170 world capitals.

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Gretchem Aikens

Digital Media Specialist

Gretchem Aikens is the Digital Media Specialist at Voto Latino. She manages content for Voto Latino’s social media platforms and executes strategy that encourages community members to take action.

Before joining Voto Latino, Gretchem served as Communications Assistant at the British Embassy in Washington, where she worked on digital diplomacy, press and public affairs. Gretchem handled live digital output for major events, like DC Capital Pride, and for VIP visits to the US, including the Prime Minister and members of the British Royal family. She also coordinated the production of the 2015 UK Open House Day, the Embassy’s biggest public event. Prior to that, Gretchem worked at the Bipartisan Policy Center, as an Administrative Assistant for the Communications team, where she tracked daily media presence and helped produce events.

Gretchem currently serves as a member of the Leadership Team for the DC Chapter of the Digital Diplomacy Coalition, which brings together diplomatic, international affairs and tech communities to leverage digital for diplomacy. Gretchem was born in Guadalajara, Mexico and deeply misses pozole and tacos al pastor.

Degrees: BA, Grinnell College

Heritage: Mexican

Fact: Gretchem was in the Oval Office for President Obama’s bilateral meetings with Prince William and Prince Harry.

Sasha Frausto

Events Associate

Sasha Frausto is the Events Associate for Voto Latino. In this role she assists the Leadership and Development team with everything that goes into coordinating and recruiting for Voto Latino events which include Power Summits, town halls, receptions and fundraisers.

She attended the University of California, San Diego and earned her degree in International Studies-Political Science with a minor in Human Rights. While earning her degree she was actively engaged with educational empowerment in the Latino community of San Diego through the Bayside Community Center where she provided daily literacy services to English language learners through their Academic Club and worked for the Early Academic Outreach Program. A further source of motivation, Sasha served as a College Advisor for low-income minority students at Gompers Preparatory Academy, a public charter school in Southeast San Diego designed to prepare students for college, and helped define their path to future success.

She was born in Los Angeles, CA. She is the first in her family to graduate from college and encourages others to strive for their goals despite the obstacles.

 

Heritage: Mexican

Degree: BA, UC San Diego, International Studies-Political Science

Fact: One of her prized possessions is a Matt Kemp home run ball caught at a Dodger game. She’s a Dodger fan!

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Kimberly Arias

Visual Design Manager
Kimberly Arias is the Visual Design Manager at Voto Latino. As part of the digital team, she provides creative support through branded visuals, marketing design and motion graphics. Prior to VL, she was an in-house designer for four years, creating print and social media graphics, video and ad campaigns.
Kimberly is originally from the Washington, DC. area and graduated from the University of Maryland with a degree in Art Studio. Outside of Voto Latino, she serves on the Board of Directors for the Washington, DC Chapter of AIGA as their Programming Director. In her spare time, she enjoys checking out indie bands and techno (good techno, not bad techno) DJs that come into town.
Degree: BA, University of Maryland
Heritage: Salvadoran
Fact: Her favorite typeface is Tungsten.
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Natasha Marquez

Digital Media Manager

Natasha is the Digital Media Manager at Voto Latino where she is charged with developing the digital strategy for the organization, overseeing the integration of the different campaigns to make sure there is a synergy between online and offline activations, and heading up the digital team of Voto Latino.

Before joining Voto Latino, Natasha has worked for several Hispanic Ad agencies in their social and digital departments. Her last role in agency was at Inspire where Natasha was responsible of: creating social media strategies, working online media budgets, placing ad buys, overseeing social listening and analytics. Prior to joining Inspire, Natasha was part of the social media team at Lopez Negrete leading the Walmart Hispanic efforts. In addition to her agency work, Natasha has worked in the telecommunication industry where she was responsible of the media relations, influencer outreach program and building the structure for a customer service through social media for Claro in Puerto Rico.

Degrees: BS, Emerson College, Boston

Heritage: Puerto Rican

Fact: Anchors represent her life experiences

Join Our Team!

The work we do begins and ends with our fantastic supporters.

America Ferrera
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America Ferrera

Actor, VL Artist Coalition Co-chair
Pitbull
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Pitbull

Rapper
Jessica Alba
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Jessica Alba

Actor
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Wilmer Valderrama

Actor, VL Artist Coalition Co-chair

Common

Rapper

George Lopez

Comedian, Actor

Gina Rodriguez

Actor

Jennifer Lopez

Actor, Singer

Robert Rodriguez

Film Director

Demi Lovato

Singer

Diego Luna

Actor

Russell Simmons

Media Mogul

Diane Guerrero

Actor

Eva Longoria

Actor, Producer

Taboo

Singer

Lila Downs

Singer

Craig Newmark

Entrepreneur

Jaslene Gonzalez

Model

Dolores Huerta

Civil Rights Activist

Columbus Short

Choreographer, Actor

Dania Ramirez

Actor

Al Madrigal

Comedian, Actor

John Leguizamo

Actor, Producer

Kat DeLuna

Singer

Fat Joe

Rapper

Edward James Olmos

Actor, Director

Amy Smart

Actor

Adam Rodríguez

Actor

Judy Reyes

Actor

Romeo Santos

Singer

Edgar “Shoboy” Sotelo

Radio Personality

Michael “Juan Bago” Diaz

Actor, Producer

Maná

Rock Band

Nick Gonzalez

Actor

Luis Guzman

Actor

Erik Rivera

Comedian

Carlos Santos

Actor, Comedian

Raul Castillo

Actor

Laura Gomez

Actor

Gabe Saporta

Singer

Careers

We like amazing people who want to do life-changing work. Check out our openings below.

Arizona State Field Fellow
Arizona – Tucson or Phoenix

Interested in helping us register voters and get out the vote in Arizona in 2016? If so, we’re interested in you for the role as a Arizona State Field Fellow.

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Colorado State Field Fellow
Colorado – Denver or Pueblo

Interested in helping us register voters and get out the vote in Colorado in 2016? If so, we’re interested in you for the role as a Colorado State Field Fellow.

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Communications Intern
Washington, DC

Are you a talented writer with an interest in nonprofit communications? We want you as a Communications Intern!

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Development Intern
Washington, DC

Are you interested in developing the Voto Latino brand? Have a knack for events planning? We want you as a Development Intern!

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Digital Media Intern
Washington, DC

Are you creative and digitally savvy? We want you as a Digital Media Intern!

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Field Director
Washington, DC

Are you a metrics-driven planner with voter registration and get-out-the-vote experience? Join Voto Latino as Field Director!

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Finance Intern
Washington, DC

Do you love numbers? Do you want to learn the ins and outs of non-profit operations? If so, we’re interested in you for the role of Finance Intern.

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Florida State Field Fellow
Florida

Interested in helping us register voters and get out the vote in Florida in 2016? If so, we’re interested in you for the role as a Florida State Field Fellow.

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Operations Intern
Washington, DC

Want to learn the ins and outs of non-profit operations? If so, we’re interested in you for the role of Operations Intern.

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Senior Digital Media Specialist
Washington, DC

Are you a digital guru? Join Voto Latino as the Senior Digital Media Specialist!

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Texas State Field Fellow
Texas – San Antonio or Rio Grande Valley

Interested in helping us register voters and get out the vote in Texas in 2016? If so, we’re interested in you for the role as a Texas State Field Fellow.

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Visual Designer
Washington, DC

Are you a creative graphic designer with an affinity for advocacy work? If so, we’re looking for you to join the Digital Team at Voto Latino.

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Become a Volunteer

Sign up to get emails on how to become involved in causes you care about.

Press

Keep up with us right here on everything from what we have to say on issues in the news to stories about VL’s work.

Awards

It’s always nice to be recognized for doing the work we love. Check out some of the projects we’ve been honored for below.

Tecla Best Social Good or Cause-Related Campaign

In April 2016, Hispanicize awarded Voto Latino with the Tecla award for “Best Social Good or Cause-Related Campaign” at their 2016 convention. The Tecla Awards recognize excellence in Latino blogging, social media, and digital marketing.

LATISM Best Of Award

In 2014, LATISM awarded Voto Latino the “Best Not-For-Profit Organization using Technology and Social Media to reach Latino(a)s” award for exceptional social media engagement.

Fast Company 100 Most Creative People in Business

Maria Teresa Kumar and Rosario Dawson were named among the 100 Most Creative Minds in Business by Fast Company in the summer of 2012.

Webby Award Honoree – 2009

In 2009, Voto Latino was a Webby Award Honoree for the telenovela PSA, La Pasión de la Decision, a five-part voter registration video campaign launched to mobilize Hispanics to vote in 2008. Presented by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences (IADAS), a Webby is largely considered to be the Internet’s greatest honor.

White House Project EPIC Award

In 2009, Voto Latino was given the EPIC award by The White House Project.  This prestigious award is given to a nonpartisan and nonprofit organization that works to advance women in media, business and politics. Voto Latino was highlighted for bringing a positive image of female leadership to the American public.

Webby Award Honoree – 2008

In 2008, Voto Latino received a Webby Award Official Honoree recognition for the ‘Crash the Parties’ campaign, a contest in which the prize for two contestants was a trip to cover the RNC and the DNC. Crash the Parties was a joint project between SiTV and Voto Latino.

MySpace Impact Award

In 2008, Voto Latino was awarded the MySpace Impact Award for Community Organizing, along with a $10,000 prize in recognition of its online organizing efforts. The MySpace Impact Awards aim to recognize those “making a difference in the world” through the social network.

NAMIC Best In Ethnic Marketing & Diversity

In 2008, Voto Latino was awarded the Award for ‘Best In Ethnic Marketing & Diversity’  for Crash the Parties in partnership with SiTV. This award was presented by the National Association for Multi-ethnicity in Communications (NAMIC).

Newsweek Women in Leadership Award

In 2008, Rosario Dawson was awarded the Women In Leadership Award by Newsweek, honoring her work as the Co-founder and Chairwoman of Voto Latino.

Hispanic Heritage Award for Vision

In 2007, Voto Latino Co-founder and Chairwoman, Rosario Dawson, was honored with the Hispanic Heritage Award for Vision by the Hispanic Heritage Foundation. The Hispanic Heritage Awards were established by The White House in 1987 and are considered among the “highest honor for Latinos by Latinos.”

ProMax Gold Award

In 2006, Voto Latino’s PSAs won top honors at the Promax Awards, taking home the Gold Award. These PSAs were produced in conjunction with Mun2 and featured Voto Latino friend and supporter, Pitbull.

Annual Reports

Here are a few examples of the work we’ve done in just the last year, thanks to our generous supporters. We hope to continually build and strengthen our financial base in order to do more for and with our community.

VL Power Summit 2015

VL Power Summit is a professional development conference that educates, engages and empowers Latino Millennials. The conference brings together dynamic leaders to network, explore resources and learn how to grow their careers from cross-industry experts.

 

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Hispanic Heritage Month of Action 2015

Hispanic Heritage Month of Action is a one of a kind on-the-ground and digital voter registration campaign that seeks to shift this cultural celebration to a month of action around voter registration and community organizing.

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Yo Soy 2014-15

Yo Soy is a national campaign to end the stigma and silence around sex education, birth control, abortion and young parenting within the Latina/o community.

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Help Us Do More in 2016