Hector Barreto, Alejandra Castillo, and Andrew Plepler Join the Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program Advisory Board

September 7, 2017

Three leaders join board of advisors to bring expertise, networks, and counsel to the work of the Latinos and Society Program.

WASHINGTON, DC – The Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program announced today the addition of three new members to their Advisory Board – Hector Barreto, Chairman, the Latino Coalition; Alejandra Castillo, CEO, YWCA USA, and Andrew Plepler, Global Head of Environmental, Social, and Governance, Bank of America.

The Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program provides a nonpartisan forum for conversation, learning, and idea generation on critical issues impacting Latinos and the nation. It focuses on three key policy areas: economic advancement, civic participation, and educational achievement. The Advisory Board brings expertise, networks and counsel to the work of the Latinos and Society Program.

“We are honored to welcome Hector Barreto, Alejandra Castillo, and Andrew Plepler to our accomplished group of advisors. Together they bring important leadership, business, not-for-profit and coalition building expertise to the Latinos and Society Program.” Monica Lozano, Chairman, the Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program.

The Honorable Hector V. Barreto is Chairman of The Latino Coalition (TLC), one of the largest and most effective Latino advocacy groups in the nation. Barreto is internationally recognized for his successful business ventures, community leadership, government service and as a leading voice for Latinos across the country. Barreto served five years as the Administrator of the U.S. Small Business Administration after being unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. He is a frequent public speaker, media guest, panelist and commentator on business, politics and the Latino community.

“I’m honored to join this group of Hispanic leaders, and grateful to the Aspen Institute for facilitating a critically important cultural conversation about Latinos. Thought leadership doesn’t just happen — it is the product of challenging ourselves and collaborating with others around a common purpose. The Latinos and Society Program is producing the kind of thought leadership the Hispanic community wants and deserves.”

Alejandra Y. Castillo is a seasoned professional with over two decades of experience in the areas of federal policy, law, business and management. She currently serves as YWCA-USA Chief Executive Officer and leads the organization’s national effort to eliminate racism and empower women. She has served in two Presidential Administrations and has been instrumental in the design and execution of key public policy and federal programs. In 2014, U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker appointed Alejandra to serve as theNational Director of the Minority Business Development Agency (MBDA). Alejandra served as the first Hispanic-American woman to have led the Agency since its creation in 1969. In this capacity she directed the Agency’s efforts to increase access to capital, contracts and markets for minority business owners, with special focus on technology and innovation. Alejandra is an active member in various civic and professional organizations, including: The Hispanic National Bar Association, the American Bar Association, the American Jewish Committee, Project 500 and the U.S. Black Chamber of Commerce.

“I’m happy to join this board of esteemed leaders who are eager to address the issues of our times and to continue to grow the Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program.”

Andrew D. Plepler is Bank of America’s Global Head of ESG. In this role, Plepler spearheads the company’s focus on environmental, social and governance factors. He engages with a broad range of internal and external stakeholders, including the company’s executive management committee, investors, consumer advocates and community leaders, to help inform and shape the bank’s strategies, policies, practices and programs. Plepler chairs the bank’s National Community Advisory Council, which for more than ten years has brought together public and private sector leaders to provide external perspective and advise the bank on responsible business practices. Prior to joining Bank of America, Plepler served as senior vice president of Housing and Community Initiatives with the Fannie Mae Foundation. Plepler previously served as a trial attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice in the Tax Division and on Capitol Hill as counsel to the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary.

“In these challenging times, we need thoughtful, informed and constructive forums to address the needs of diverse communities. The mission of the Latinos and Society Program is to promote and foster that critical work.”

They join founding advisory board members Cesar Conde, Chairman, NBCUniversal International Group and NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises; David L. Cohen, Senior Executive Vice President, Chief Diversity Officer, Comcast Corporation; Luis J. Echarte, Vice President, Grupo Salinas; Abigail Golden-Vazquez, Executive Director, Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program; Monica Lozano, Chairman, Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program; Dr. Diana Natalicio, President, the University of Texas at El Paso; Patricia Pineda, former Group Vice President, Hispanic Business Strategy Group, Toyota Motor North America, Inc.; Francisco Sanchez, Chairman, CNS Global Advisors; Gaddi Vasquez, Senior Vice President, Government Affairs, Edison International; and Laysha Ward, Executive Vice President, Chief External Engagement Officer, Target on the Advisory Board.

About The Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program
The Aspen Institute founded the Latinos and Society Program in 2015 to provide a place for Latinos and non-Latinos to learn about their shared future and jointly explore solutions to the challenges of our time. Its vision is to foster a more informed citizenry and promote the engagement of all people in securing a prosperous and inclusive future for America. This policy program convenes diverse audiences and subject matter experts to advance three important policy areas, civic participation, economic advancement and educational opportunity. The program is also connecting a pipeline of Latino leaders to Institute programs, fostering collaboration, and strengthening their networks. To learn more, follow @AspenLatinos, or visit AspenInstitute.org/policy-work/latinos-society.


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