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 this generation of leaders in the Latino community, she continues this mission as President and CEO of UnidosUS (previously known as NCLR, the National Council of La Raza), the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States.
Since 2005, Murguía has sought to strengthen UnidosUS work and enhance its record of impact as a vital American institution. Murguía has also work to amplify the Latino voice on issues affecting the Hispanic community such as education, health care, immigration, civil rights, and the economy.
Murguía has been recognized on numerous occasions for her work. She has been selected as one of Washingtonian magazine’s “100 Most Powerful Women in Washington” and as one of the NonProfit Times’ “Power and Influence Top 50” leaders. In 2005, she received the University of Kansas (KU) Law Alumni Association Distinguished Alumnus/na Award.
She began her career in Washington, DC as legislative counsel to former Kansas Congressman Jim Slattery. She then worked at the White House from 1994 to 2000, ultimately serving as deputy assistant to President Clinton, providing strategic and legislative advice to the president on key issues. She served as deputy director of legislative affairs, managing the legislative staff and acting as a senior White House liaison to Congress. She then served as deputy campaign manager and director of constituency outreach for the Gore/Lieberman presidential campaign. In 2001, 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.
Janet Murguía grew up in Kansas City, Kansas. She received three degrees from KU: a
B.S. degree in journalism, a B.A. degree in Spanish, and a J.D. degree from the School of Law. She also received an honorary degree—Doctor of Humane Letters—from California State University, Dominguez Hills and an honorary Doctor of Laws from Wake Forest University.