Influential Hispanic Leader
Raul Yzaguirre is one of the most widely recognized leaders in the Hispanic community. His involvement in many of the most critical legislative and public policy issues of the last three decades has made him a key national player on behalf of Hispanic Americans. Today, as President and CEO of the National Council of La…
Raul Yzaguirre is one of the most widely recognized leaders in the Hispanic community. His involvement in many of the most critical legislative and public policy issues of the last three decades has made him a key national player on behalf of Hispanic Americans. Today, as President and CEO of the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) the largest constituency-based national Hispanic organization and a leading Hispanic “think tank” in Washington, DC, he continues his lifelong mission to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans.
Since joining NCLR in 1974, Yzaguirre has spearheaded its emergence as the most influential and respected Hispanic organization in the country. The Albuquerque Tribune has called NCLR “the leading Hispanic think tank in the country.” In its review of the influence of Latino advocates in Washington, Hispanic Business magazine concluded that NCLR is, “by all accounts the most effective Hispanic organization.”
Yzaguirre has been honored on many occasions for his work. In 1979, he was the first Hispanic to receive a Rockefeller Public Service Award for Outstanding Public Service from the Trustees of Princeton University. From 1989 to 1990, he served as one of the first Hispanic Fellows of the Institute of Politics at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. In 1993, Yzaguirre received the Order of the Aztec Eagle, the highest honor given by the government of Mexico to non-citizens. Also that year, he was the recipient of the Hubert H. Humphrey Civil Rights Award from the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. In 1998, he was honored with the Charles Evan Hughes Gold Medal Award for courageous leadership in civic and humanitarian affairs by the National Conference for Community and Justice.
Yzaguirre is a past Chairperson of the Independent Sector, a nonprofit coalition of over 850 corporate, foundation, and voluntary organizations. He serves on the Board of Directors of numerous organizations, including Sears, Roebuck and Co., the Enterprise Foundation, the National Democratic Institute, and the Trustees of Dowling College. He was recently elected to the National Boards of the Salvation Army and the 4-H Club.
He was the first Hispanic to serve on the Executive Committee of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights. Yzaguirre was Chairperson of President Clinton’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans, and is currently the President of the Mexican and American Solidarity Foundation. He also serves on the Visiting Committee for the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations.
In a 1992 profile, Hispanic magazine described him as being “at the center of the Hispanic leadership stage.” He is a frequent commentator on Latino issues, having appeared in such media as Today, ABC World News Tonight, CBS Evening News, NPR, The Washington Post, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal,Time and Newsweek.
A lifelong community activist, Yzaguirre was born in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas. He began his civil rights career at the age of 15 when he organized the American G.I. Forum Juniors, an auxiliary of the American G.I. Forum, an Hispanic veterans organization. After graduating from high school, Yzaguirre served four years in the US Air Force Medical Corps.
In 1964, he founded NOMAS, the National Organization for Mexican American Services. A proposal he wrote for NOMAS led to the creation of what is now NCLR. After receiving his BS from George Washington University, Yzaguirre became a program analyst at the Migrant Division of the US Office of Economic Opportunity (OEO).
In 1969, Yzaguirre founded Interstate Research Associates (IRA), the first Mexican American research association, which he built into a multimillion-dollar nonprofit consulting firm.
Ernie was perfect for our Elders Conference at Little River Casino Resort in Manistee, Michigan. We will definitely be using PDA again!
LITTLE RIVER BAND OF OTTAWA INDIANS
Our speaker was great and the crowd enjoyed her! She was very engaging. Thank you again PDA for the great list of suggestions!
Everything went great! and our speaker was wonderful! Thank you so much for all your help PDA! Looking forward to the next one.
UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI – KANSAS CITY
I hope that this message finds you well. We had a phenomenal time with Atsuko this past Thursday. We wanted to just let you know how amazing she was. All those that were in attendance thoroughly enjoyed her and had nothing but amazing things to say about her. Thank you for working with us to make sure this happened!
BAYLOR UNIVERSITY CAMPUS
We had a fantastic day with Inge! She was very engaging with all those that attended. Her personal stories about the holocaust were very special and we were moved that she was willing to share them with everyone. Thank you again, PDA for all your hard work and dedication to make this program such a success!
SALT LAKE COMMUNITY COLLEGE
Dear PDA Group, Thank you so much for your hard work in scheduling our speaker! From the moment we reached out to you the first time, you worked with us on all details and logistics and kept us up-to-date on the progress. Thank you for all your hard work on making our event such a success! We couldn't have done it without you and your team!
Thank you again, Dr. Kimbrough, for a great presentation, our attendees are still talking about it!
Dr. Henry Lee's presentation was entertaining, insightful and wise. I, and everyone at Pfizer, especially appreciate the remarks you directed about following your passion and preparing yourself to excel. Thank you, everyone, at PDA for helping to make this happen!
The event was successful! I received many messages expressing how awesome, outstanding and inspiring Ms. Webb-Christburg's speech was."
DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. MEMORIAL BREAKFAST, BOSTON, MLK SPEAKER
Everything went well. Atsuko was very easy to work with and the students enjoyed her performance! Thank you again for your recommendation and I hope to work with you again in the future!
CENTRAL MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Dr. Novello left this morning after a very successful event on our campus! Thank you PDA Group for your help from the first phone to the last you were with us every step of the way.
GRAND VALLEY STATE UNIVERSITY
Jordan Carlos was very very entertaining! A majority of students who answered the event survey indicated they really enjoyed Jordan and definitely will bring him back!
WESTERN CAROLINA UNIVERSITY
On behalf of myself and my organization Entertainment Unlimited the Campus Programming Board of Ferris State University, we thank you PDA and Dan for a successful event!! Dan was magnificent! Students really enjoyed the presentation. I know I did. Can't wait to bring in more programs with PDA Group.
FERRIS STATE UNIVERSITY
It was a great pleasure to work with PDA Group! The communication was always prompt, friendly and helpful. We loved the speakers and events we booked through Mr. Peter Walker (PDA Group).
WESTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY
Thank you, Peter, for all your help, you'll be happy to know that the event went incredibly well! Aneesa Ferreira was by far one of the best speakers we've ever had!
Creating Tomorrow’s Leaders in the Hispanic Community
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Partnership in the Community of Color
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