Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program Announces New Cohort of Ricardo Salinas Scholars

June 20, 2019

50 Ricardo Salinas Scholars awarded to participate in Aspen Institute programs bringing valuable perspectives to solve problems facing our global communities 

Contact: Maria Samaniego
Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program

Washington, DC, June 20th, 2019– The Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program announces scholarship awards to a total of 50 Ricardo Salinas Scholars in the 2018-2019 award period, with 11 new awardees in the most recent cohort. The 11 new recipients will participate in six different Institute policy and public programs, and an executive seminar.

The Ricardo Salinas Scholarship aims to increase the participation of Latinos in the Aspen Institute’s public events, policy roundtables, leadership seminars and other convenings. In doing so, it provides access to leadership opportunities, networks and social capital.  Since its inception in 2015, thanks to the generous support from Ricardo Salinas and Grupo Salinas, the Aspen Institute has awarded a total 252 Ricardo Salinas Scholarships. This has enabled Scholars hailing from 63 different cities to participate in 75 unique Institute programs.

The scholarship program offers American Latino and Mexican leaders a unique opportunity to explore pivotal themes regarding social concerns and contribute to high-level policy discussions. It is designed to allow emerging Latino leaders an opportunity to lend their voices and enrich conversations affecting policy and practice.

The Aspen Institute fosters leadership based on enduring values and provides a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. Scholars are able to engage with world-renowned thought leaders, content, and cross-sector networks of influencers and decision makers.

“I couldn’t have attended Socrates without the support of the Salinas Fellowship,” said Soledad Roybal, a technology equality advocate who launched the Latino Tech Policy Initiative, of her experience in the Socrates Summer seminar. She added, “I was able to dialogue with bright people from all over the world, expressing and hearing unique perspectives while creating new friendships. It also helped me build my confidence and show others that even though I don’t have an Ivy League degree or the pedigree of so many other attendees, I am smart and articulate enough to engage at the Aspen Institute level.”

“Given extensive data demonstrating that diversity and inclusion leads to better outcomes, it is surprising that so few American Latinos are present at important decision-making tables and fora of national importance. This lack of participation by the largest ethnic group in the U.S. is particularly worrisome in light of heightened anti-Latino and anti-Mexican rhetoric. This is why it is so important to facilitate the inclusion of emerging and established American Latino and Mexican leaders in pivotal conversations about our society, the direction of our country, and the policies that affect them, which the Ricardo Salinas Scholarship does, “said Abigail Golden-Vazquez, Aspen Institute Vice President and Latinos and Society Program Executive Director.

The newest cohort of Ricardo Salinas Scholars are emerging leaders and seasoned professionals from an array of sectors, including: impact investing; corporate responsibility; and, marketing and technology; among others. Their diverse personal and professional experiences in the U.S. and Mexico will add value to discussions about the issues and challenges of our times.  The scholars are:

Jose Medina, Co-Founder, Unreasonable Mexico

Hector Mendoza, Advisor with Kayo Impacto Mexico

Yuliana Mendoza, Deal Flow Manager at VIWALA, New Ventures Mexico

Roberto Paniagua, Account Executive, Google

Antonio Tijerino, President and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation

Cid Wilson, President and CEO of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR)

Daisy Gonzales, Deputy Chancellor, California Community Colleges

Vera Bocalandro Carothers, MFA Candidate, Columbia University

Liza Rodriguez, Deputy Commissioner for Performance Management and Technology, City of Philadelphia Department of Human Services

Hon. Carlos Curbelo, Former U.S. Representative, FL 26th District

Sylvia Puente, Executive Director, Latino Policy Forum

How to apply:

Candidates should identify a program of interest from the offerings on the Aspen Institute website, reach out to the appropriate point of contact, and mention their potential eligibility for the Ricardo Salinas Scholarship. If the candidate is a good fit, then the program applies for the scholarship on the candidate’s behalf. The scholarship is managed by the Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program, and a committee makes the final selection based on established criteria. Nominations are accepted on a rolling basis, and the committee meets to review and select scholars three times a year.

For more details on scholarship eligibility and nomination process, please visit

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 times.  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 participations, 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

The Aspen Institute is an educational and policy studies organization based in Washington, DC. Its mission is to foster leadership based on enduring values and to provide a nonpartisan venue for dealing with critical issues. The Institute is based in Washington, DC; Aspen, Colorado; and on the Wye River on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. It also has offices in New York City and an international network of partners. For more information, visit



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