NHLI A Catalyst for Latina Empowerment Celebrating 20 Years of Achievement

Spring 2007  |  Ingrid Duran, Latina Style

The National Hispana Leadership Institute’s (NHLI) Mid-Career Fellowship was the catalyst for launching my business, D&P Creative Strategies, two and a half years ago. NHLI gave me the self-confidence to follow my dream of creating a business that would allow my partner, Catherine, and I to give back to the communities that matter so much to us. 

The training provided by NHLI, encourages new leaders to step out of their comfort zones, question their assumptions, imagine new possibilities, and transform these visions into realities. We stepped out of our comfort zone and created a very successful business that has surpassed our wildest dreams. I am just one example among thousands of Latinas who have been empowered by the NHLI experience.


NHLI was created in response to a call to action in 1987 to improve the status of Latinas across the country. Since that moment, 20 years ago, NHLI has been training Latinas to become agents of change and ethical leaders throughout the world. The organization also helps thousands of Latinas to realize the potential of their dreams. By partnering with Harvard University and the Center for Creative Leadership, NHLI has become the premier source of empowerment, training and leadership development for Latinas. Over the course of nine months, NHLI’s participants are trained in public policy, strategic management, team building, the art of negotiation and how to effectively deal with race, class and gender issues.


At a time when our young Latinas are facing so many obstacles and enduring a deluge of negative statistics, NHLI is doing its part to address some of these issues and to help change the future of our country by mentoring, training and empowering young Latinas through the Latinas Learning to Lead program.

These young Latinas have gone on to graduate from college and are now beginning careers in a multitude of fields including business, public service and the non-profit sectors.Many of the participants credit NHLI for providing them with the solid foundation they need in order to succeed in life. NHLI doesn’t stop with the Mid-Career Fellowship and Latinas Learning to Lead program. We also have empowerment conferences in cities across the country that enable us to reach thousands of Latinas through one-day seminars where they obtain leadership training, opportunities to network with other Latinas and catch a glimpse of the power of NHLI.

Every year culminates with our Executive Leadership and Mujer Awards Conference, where we feature cutting-edge workshops in management, the development of career skills, networking and inspirational sessions. We also pay tribute to Hispanic women at the regional and national levels who have made a lifetime commitment to serving the Hispanic community.


NHLI alumni, Dolores Huerta and Eva Longoria; NHLI chair, Ingrid M. Duran and NHLI board member Catherine Pino

Our past honorees have included Dolores Huerta, Christina Saralegui, Antonia Hernandez, Linda Chavez Thompson, Irma Flores Gonzalez, Dr. Antonia Pantoja, and Consuelo Castillo Kickbusch. Last year, Eva Longoria received the first ever Chairs Award.


I am thrilled and honored to chair the board of directors at such an exciting time of growth for NHLI. This year, we are celebrating 20 years of empowering Latinas to become business owners, writers, non-profit leaders, corporate executives and public servants among numerous other equally important careers. We have also launched a campaign called Vision Forward: Growing Latina Leaders, which is now in its 2nd year and aims to reach $3 million by 2008.


I look forward to working with Marisa Rivera-Albert, president of NHLI, our board of directors and our alumni to build on the solid 20-year foundation and to take NHLI to new heights. I would like to invite you to join us in celebrating 20 years of Latina Leadership and Excellence at our Annual Executive Leadership and Mujer Awards conference in Denver, Colorado on November 8th and 9th, where you too can share in the NHLI experience.


For more information about NHLI, please visit nhli.org.

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