Marisa Herrera, director of the Samuel E. Kelly Ethnic Cultural Center (ECC), is one of 16 Latina professionals from across the country participating in the 2014 National Hispana Leadership Institute’s (NHLI) Executive Leadership Program (ELP).
The nine-month program, that began in February and runs through October, features four one-week training sessions that help participants enhance skills in cross-cultural communication, strategic management, public policy and leadership building. Sessions are held at various institutions throughout the year culminating with a graduation ceremony during the NHLI’s policy training week in Washington, D.C.
Herrera spent last week at Harvard University where she completed a certificate in leadership from the Kennedy School of Government.
Participants also mentor at least two Latinas during the program year, and complete an individual leadership project that impacts the community. ELP fellows are selected based on their professional and personal accomplishments, and dedication to serving their community.
“This has been one of the most important professional development opportunities I have experienced during my career,” Herrera said. “The time spent reflecting on my work and community will undoubtedly impact my role at the Kelly ECC. I am so proud to represent the UW, the Office of Minority Affairs & Diversity and the state of Washington as a fellow in the program. Only 31 leaders from this state have been selected to participate over the years. I am incredibly humbled to join this dynamic network of Latina leaders making a difference in the community.”
Originally from Arizona, Herrera previously worked in student services, housing and admissions roles at Stanford, UCLA and Northern Arizona before coming to the UW. She received her doctorate in higher education administration from the University of Southern California with research focusing on leadership and the globalization of higher education. She holds a master’s degree in business management from Northern Arizona and a bachelor of science in agribusiness from Arizona State.
Herrera currently serves as a National Advisory Board member to the National Conference on Race and Ethnicity in Higher Education and the College Board’s Native American Student Advocacy Institute. She is active in her community and is a strong advocate for undocumented students, currently serving as a member on the Washington State Coalition for HB1079.