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HACU National Internship Program / HACU 

Alumni Profiles

 

Ms. Leysha López currently serves as Program Assistant of the HACU National Internship Program. She joined the HNIP team after completing two internships at the Library of Congress, Office of Special Events. During her internships she developed the components of the current Special Events Intranet page, prepared official lists to Congress, and assisted with the coordination of numerous events held at the Library. Read more...

Ms. Susie Saavedra has a decade of Capitol Hill experience working for four Members of Congress: former House Democratic Leader Dick Gephardt, former Senator and current Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, former Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair, Rep. Joe Baca, and Congressional Black Caucus Member, Rep. Al Green. Read more...
 
Ms. Andrea Ambriz currently serves as a Special Assistant in the Office of Legislative Affairs at the U.S Department of the Treasury, a position to which she was appointed by the Administration of the United States President Barak Obama in August 2011. She advances the Administration's agenda to strengthen U.S leadership in the global economy by working with key Congressional contacts, as well as with internation financial institutions, federal agencies, and foreign governments on a wide range of economic issues. Read more... 

Ms. Emily Calderon Galdeano is the Director of Research and Information for the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU). Her research agenda and publications focus on where the trajectories of public policy and higher education intersect, specifically as they relate to Latina/o students. She has served as a university faculty member, a legislative aide in the Texas Senate and House, and as a Bureau of International Labor Affairs intern with the U.S Department of Labor through the HACU National Internship Program. Read more...




Ms. Kimberly Castillo always knew she wanted to be in the public service arena. To her, public service means giving back, developing our communities, embracing our differences, and pursuing equiality. Her Federal career began as a HACU (Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universitys) intern in 2006 with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) Office of Human Resources (HR) Management. She was the Assistant Program Manager for the Minority Serving Institution Internship Program for the agency. Read more...  


Mr. Eduardo J Martinez is a senior economist for Moody's Analytics in West Chester, PA. He prepares regular exonomic forecasts for the California and Puerto Rico economies, as well as conducts research on international trade and commercial real estate, and makes public and industry presentations across the United States. Eduardo's previous professional experiences includes economist positions with the Los Angeles Country Economic Development Corporation, State Department, and Bureau of Labor Statistics. Read more...

Mr. Josué M. Barrera is currently serving as the Summit Outreach Coordinator for the Department of State’s Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs Office of Economic Policy and Summit Coordination.  His office is charged with coordinating U.S participation in the 6th Summit of the Americas being held next April in Cartagena, Colombia.

Josué’s permanent position is as an HR Specialist in the Bureau of Human Resources Office of Recruitment, Examination, and Employment. His goal is to generate a pipeline of diverse candidates to carry out the Foreign Policy objectives of the U.S. in domestic and in diplomatic positions through the development of institutional relationships between the Department and professional affinity organizations. Read more...

Ms. Yahaira Rodriguez-Rosado is a mental health specialist and writer with vast experience providing support to government and non-government organizations. Yahaira obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Puerto Rico and received Summa Cum Laude distinction from the School Psychology Graduate Program of the Inter American University of Puerto Rico. Her education and professional experience includes United States, South Africa, Cuba, Spain, and the Caribbean. She has a strong commitment with education and educational opportunities, cultural competence, and philanthropy. Read more...







Ms. Elisa Montoya is the White House Liaison and Senior Advisor to the Director at the Peace Corps. Within this capacity, she is a member of the senior management team and manages all aspects of communication between the agency and executive branch. In addition, at the request of the director, she manages the implementation and oversight of projects across the agency and advises the director on issues that affect agency operations which include but are not limited to program development and growth, global operations, volunteer support, crises management, volunteer recruitment, safety and security, congressional relations, communication messaging and other agency administrative matters. Read more...



Mr. Roberto Gonzalez Jr. is the USDA-HSI Regional Director for Southern California and Arizona hosted at SDSU-Imperial Valley Campus, the branch campus of San Diego State University which both are HACU member institutions. Roberto works in cooperation with the Office of Campus Dean on carrying out regional initiatives, projects, and activities for HSIs located in the southernmost part of California and throughout the state of Arizona. Roberto supports the USDA's strategic alignment on the planning, development and coordination of advocacy and outreach programs and activities and initiatives related to Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs). Read more...


Ms. Veronica Villalobos was appointed to the Senior Executive Service in October 2012. She currently holds the position of Director, Office of Diversity and Inclusion, with the U.S Office of Personnel Management (OPM). In that capacity, she manages OPM's government-wide diversity and inclusive Federal workforce. Veronica was a HACU intern in 1995 with the Department of Labor's (DOL) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Administration and Management (OASAM). Read more... 



 

Mr. Cyrus Salazar is a graduate of New Mexico State University where he earned a Bachelors degree in Communication Studies and a Masters degree in Public Administration. Through his academic tenure, Mr. Salazar participated in five internships in Washington, D.C. through the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) National Internship Program at the Federal Aviation Administration, United States Department of Agriculture, and the National Institutes of Health. Read more...



 
Ms. Raquel Vazquez, HACU alumna of 2010, is an accomplished and proud Afro-Latina to honor during this special month. This Latina, of Puerto Rican, African American, and Barbadian descent, hailing from New York City, is a stellar hard-working professional building her career in public service and government administration. During her two HACU internships in Washington, D.C., Raquel worked at the USDA Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships. Through her outreach efforts at the USDA, she worked tirelessly to connect Latino-serving organizations and communities to anti-hunger programs, including WIC and Food Stamps. One of her most notable accomplishments was connecting the USDA to the Bronx Food Summit, an event aimed at combating obesity and hunger in the county where it is concentrated the most in the nation. Read more...


Ms. Didetsa Vazquez graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Puerto Rico in Arecibo (UPRA) with a Bachelors degree in Accounting. During her undergraduate years, she served as Secretary of the Accounting Students Association, President of the UPRA College Band in 2007, and worked as an accounting, finance and math tutor for freshmen and sophomores. During spring 2008, she participated in the Walt Disney World Theme Parks & Resorts College Program in Orlando, FL. In spring and summer 2009, she worked as a HACU intern at the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), Division of Payment Management which manages US federal grants payments throughout the world. Mainly, she was able to manage payment accounts that channeled FEMA funds to support the hurricane Katrina recovery efforts. Read more...


Mr. Lazaro Sandoval graduated from Fresno State, a HACU member institution, with a Bachelors degree in Agricultural Business.  As an undergraduate he completed two internships with the USDA through the HACU National Internship Program.  “Before HNIP I had no idea of what my future would look like.  The minute I got to Washington, D.C. I got a sense of what is out there.” 

Lazaro is currently working through a STEP with the USDA-FAS – Office of Global Analysis (OGA) as an International Trade Specialist.  The job includes preparation of analysis for foreign trade policy, writing briefing papers, and statistical analysis of agricultural commodities, particularly livestock. Read more...




Mr. Albert Cruz is a 2005 Alum of the HACU National Internship Program where he interned in the Dept. of Commerce with the Steel Licensing Team. In 2007 he began his career on Wall Street in Investment Banking with UBS where he was able to survive the recession and eventually became an Associate Director in the US/LatAm Equity Capital Markets Group in New York. During his 4 years at UBS, he was the sole tax and structuring analyst in the Strategic Solutions Group and an equity origination analyst focusing on financial institutions, healthcare, technology, media and telecommunications sectors. Albert’s transaction experience includes Visa’s 19.7 billion IPO. During his time at UBS, Albert also co-founded and co-captained the Success Skills Volunteer Program for three years where employees mentored Brooklyn high school students. Read more... 





Ms. Kimberly Sais has worked for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) since 1993. Headquartered in Washington, USAID provides economic, development and humanitarian assistance around the world in support of the foreign policy goals of the United States. Ms. Sais currently serves as the Director of the Office of Professional Development and Management in the Agency’s Bureau for Economic Growth, Agriculture and Trade (EGAT). The Bureau is charged with providing technical leadership and field support to USAID missions around the world. The Bureau promotes raising incomes, ending hunger, protecting the environment, and equipping institutions and people with the knowledge and skills to build equitable and sustainable economies and societies while advancing gender equity across all U.S. Government foreign assistance objectives. 

As the Director of the Office of Professional Development and Management, Ms. Sais has broad management and oversight responsibilities related to professional staff development, personnel, administration, and management functions of the bureau.

Previously, Ms. Sais served as the Senior Policy Advisor in the bureau. She provided leadership within the Bureau to coordinate USAID implementation of Presidential and Congressional priorities and the coordination of international public-private partnerships. 

She has also worked in the Agency’s Office of the Chief Operating Officer, Office of Environment and Science Policy, Global Environment Center and Office of Energy and Technology. 

Kim was a part of the first HNIP Intern class in the summer of 1992. Today, she continues to be active with the program. From 2009 to 2011, she served as an At-Large member of the HACU Alumni Association Executive Board. 

She has a master’s degree in business administration from New Mexico State University.