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Latino Trailblazer

Janet Murgia

  • Gender: Female
  • Organization: NCLR

Ms. Murguía grew up in Kansas City, Kansas and attributes her commitment to opening doors for millions of families, to the challenges she was able to overcome, herself, in pursuing all that this country has to offer. “My parents came to this country with very little, in terms of education and certainly resources, and their belief in this country and the opportunity it would have for their family, guided them,” she said in an interview with Hispanic Executive Magazine.

She persevered and attended the University of Kansas, where she received bachelor’s degrees in Journalism and Spanish, and a JD degree from the School of Law.

She began her career as legislative counsel to former Kansas Congressman Jim Slattery. She then worked at the White House from 1994 to 2000, where she ultimately served as deputy assistant to President Clinton, providing him with strategic and legislative advice. She also served as Deputy Director of Legislative Affairs, managing the legislative staff and acting as a senior White House liaison to Congress. Subsequently, she served as Deputy Campaign Manager and Director of Constituency Outreach for the 2000 Gore/Lieberman presidential campaign.
In 2001, Ms. Murguía joined the University of Kansas as Executive Vice Chancellor for University Relations, overseeing KU’s internal and external relations with the public, including governmental and public affairs.

Since joining NCLR in 2005, she has sought to strengthen the organization’s work and impact across the country. One of the first things she did there was to reinforce the partnership between NCLR and its nearly 300 affiliates, which serve millions of people, at the community level, in 41 states, the District of Columbia, and Puerto Rico.

She has 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.