As someone who has experienced the promise of the American Dream firsthand, Janet Murguía has devoted her career in public service to opening the door to that dream to millions of American families. Now, as a key figure among the next generation of leaders in the Latino community, she continues this mission as President and CEO of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States. Since 2005, Murguía has sought to strengthen NCLR’s work and enhance its record of impact as a vital American institution. One of her first priorities was to harness the power of the nation’s 50 million Hispanics and improve opportunities for Latino families by strengthening the partnership between NCLR and its network of nearly 300 community-based Affiliates which serve millions of people in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.
Murguía has also sought to strengthen the Latino voice on issues affecting the Hispanic community such as education, health care, immigration, civil rights, the economy, and the rise of hate rhetoric and hate crimes targeting the Latino community. In her role as NCLR’s spokesperson, she has appeared on ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, NBC Nightly News, NBC’s Today, CNN’s Larry King Live, PBS’s NewsHour with Jim Lehrer, CNN’s Anderson Cooper 360°, and CNN’s Lou Dobbs Tonight. Murguía has placed special emphasis on turning Latino growth into empowerment through the Latino vote. In the 2008 election, NCLR along with its partners helped register nearly 200,000 new Hispanic voters. Other initiatives and partnerships helped more than 1.5 million eligible immigrants apply for citizenship.