XiNomara Velazquez Yehuda, Chief of Staff
Ms. Velazquez Yehuda is Chief of Staff for The Hispanic Institute. Since joining THI in 2007, she oversees government relations, media, press, and national outreach. She has provided support for all Institute’s initiatives including, the Immigrant Labor and American Competitiveness Study, The Hispanic Retirement White Paper, as well as Culture Wars, and past Democratic National Conventions. She executes Congressional testimony, provides legislative research, oversees Voter Education Program and Civic Engagements, and acts as liaison to both international and national governments.
Before joining THI, Ms. Velazquez Yehuda’s eclectic professional experience included assignments as Director for domestic and international organizations. She is a Returned US Peace Corps Volunteer, served in Costa Rica as an Educational liaison between USPC and the local Ministry of Education; she conducted Teacher Training on Literacy for Adults and was the first Peace Corps Volunteer to work with women inmates at the Costa Rica jail system, El Buen Pastor. She was a member of Vice President Al Gore’s "in country” international advance team in Port Au Prince Haiti, and liaise Congressional International Bilateral trips. She holds a double major in International Relations/Diplomacy, and Psychology Licensed practitioner. She is a law fellow at Texas A&M University. She completed her LPC/psychologist internship at various Women’s Hospitals in Texas as a LPC. She holds a Certificate in Human Rights Law from the Universidad de Costa Rica. She is fluent in five languages, Spanish, English, French, Creole, (Haitian dialect), conversational Farsi and Hebrew.
Ms. Velazquez Yehuda has been working on Civil rights and children’s issues since 1988, and with Non Profits since early 1990’s.
Currently she serves on the Board of The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), Lectoras Latinas, Pan American Women’s Organization (OEA), and is a member of the Ben Gurion Society, Jewish Federation Worldwide. She is the Vice President for the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women (NACOPRW). She is a member of the Hill Havurah, Jewish Congregation in Capitol Hill, Washington DC.
Post Graduate Studies in Judaic Studies, Divinity from Yeshiva Beit El Jai,Kehilah Sefardí, Beit El Jai.
Arnoldo Mata, Director of Research
Mr. Mata has been Director of Research since joining THI in July 2007. Mr. Mata helped draft the proposal for funding the initial phase of the Immigrant Labor and American Competitiveness Study and is directing all aspects of the study's research.
Before joining The Institute Mr. Mata worked as an independent consultant in the areas of management, project development, resource development, strategic planning and leadership development for a number of organizations. His more than 25 years of professional experience is in management and policy analysis. He has worked for and with the National Council of La Raza, Texas Enterprise for Housing and Development, and other nonprofit organizations. His work included development of long-range strategic plans, homeowner and construction programs, comprehensive economic development strategies, and industrial development planning. He has a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Texas-Pan American.
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