National Hispanic Leadership Agenda

NHLA Statements on Appointees
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  • On April 8, 2014, President Barack Obama and Vice President Joe Biden led a swearing-in ceremony welcoming Maria Contreras-Sweet as Administrator of the Small Business Administration. NHLA was proud to support her candidacy and we invite you to join us in wishing her well.

    >> Click here to write Maria a congratulations note.

  • On April 17, 2014, U.S. Commerce Department Secretary Penny Pritzker issued a statement announcing that Alejandra Castillo would serve as the next National Director of the Minority Business Development Agency. Ms. Castillo will be the first Latina and second woman to head MBDA in its 45-year history.

    >> See NHLA's statement congratulating Alejandra here.

Program Overview

The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, a coalition of the 37 preeminent national Latino organizations in the U.S., is leading a national effort to strengthen the political pipeline for Latinos and Latinas.

NHLA's Latino Appointment Program focuses on:

1) Serving as a talent bank, counselor and advocate providing support to Latino professionals seeking appointed positions in President Barack Obama's Administration. 

2) Moving forward a four-state pilot program to increase the representation of Latinos in state-level appointments made by Governors in CA, TX, NV and FL (states with significant Latino populations but slim representation in political appointments).

3) Creating a network of current and former Latino appointees to support in moving up the career ladder and to engage as mentors.

4) Empowering the Latino community with information about how to navigate the political appointment process and how to support Latino candidates pursuing political appointments.

5) Partnering with Political Parity on LatinasRepresent, a new non-partisan initiative designed to help ensure the political landscape is more representative lift up the fact that Latinas are just 1 percent of national and state-level elected officials. 



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Latino Underrepresentation in the Federal Government

While Latinos are 17% of the U.S. population and 15% of private sector employees, we are just 8.2% of the nearly 2 million federal career (non-political) employees across the U.S. In addition to running our Latino Appointment Program, NHLA leaders are also working to address the underrepresentation of Latinos in the federal career workforce via our Government Accountability Committee and as participants in the U.S. Office of Personnel Management's Hispanic Council on Federal Employment.

See OPM's 12th Annual Report on Hispanic Employment issued in September of 2013 detailing the hiring of Latinos by federal department.

Learn more about federal civilian (non-political) career jobs at:

  • - the online portal to apply for federal jobs and internships
  • - the site for the U.S. Office of Personnel Managment, the agency that develops and administers hiring practices for all federal agencies
  • - the National Association of Hispanic Federal Executives, a National Hispanic Leadership Agenda coalition member organization that seeks to develop and advance Hispanics to career senior level, policy-making positions in the federal government

The Latest Latino Appointee List

Follow the status of Latino appointees pending in the U.S. Senate and find inspiration from our list of Latino presidential appointees currently serving in the Obama-Biden Administration.

See the list of Latino appointees »

Program Press Statements

Our coalition is active in calling for the inclusion of Latinos in entry-level to Cabinet-level political appointments. Read more about what the leaders of our member organizations have to say about our program and some of the President's latest Latino nominees.

Read press statements »

NHLA Releases Table Documenting Senators' Votes on Top Latino Nominees

On October 31, 2013, the nation's top Latino leaders issued a statement congratulating Katherine Archuleta, the newly-confirmed Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), and noting that Senators' votes will be scored in NHLA's Score Card for the Latino Community on the 113th Congress.

Click here to view a table of Senators' votes on Labor Secretary Thomas Perez and OPM Director Katherine Archuleta, alongside data about Hispanic populations in their states.

Click here to read more about NHLA's effort to support Ms. Archuleta.

Click here to read about NHLA's effort to help confirm Thomas Perez, U.S. Labor Secretary.

NHLA State-Appointment Program Now Underway

NHLA's Inaugural Reception & Resume Drop


NHLA's reception and resume drop officially launching the new Latino Appointments Program engaged 325 people in Washington, D.C. including leaders from our coalition of 36 national Latino organizations as well as current and former Latino appointees. Since then, we've held outreach events in California, Florida, Nevada, Illinois, and Louisiana. We look forward to building on this momentum as we continue our national outreach cultivating a strong network of current, former and prospective Latino appointees for state-level and presidential appointments.

View event photos on Facebook »

Call for Volunteers

NHLA is building a network of "candidate coaches" -- current and former Latino appointees who volunteer to help mentor/advise prospective candidates. We also welcome interns and volunteer outreach associates to support the program's important behind-the-scenes work. Are you ready to be part of our appointments program familia?

Sign up to volunteer »


1.  Identify your preferred agencies, offices and positions by consulting the 2012 Plum Book.

2. Complete NHLA's Endorsement Application by submitting the requested information through the "Apply Now" tab or this link.

3. Submit your resume to

Please use the subject line "NHLA Nominations Resume" and limit the length of your resume to one page per decade of work experience.

4. Apply to the White House. In order to be considered for a presidential appointment all applicants MUST apply through the official White House application site,

5. Stay busy, be patient, research, prepare and be ready to campaign for your position.  


Serving as a political appointee can be a very rewarding and meaningful experience -- both for you and for the community. We encourage you to take a look at a few key considerations as you think through whether you want to apply to be an appointee.

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Once you submit your application and resume to us, we will schedule a one-on-one meeting with you to learn more about your personal story, experiences and interests.

Information gathered from your interview and application will then be shared with our Executive Committee and full board for consideration.

Candidates who are admitted by the board into our program will then be referred to the White House and receive wrap-around support services to prepare for their process pursuing an appointment.

* Ultimately, the White House Presidential Personnel Office, White House liaisons within the federal agencies, and supervisors within hiring offices will determine who to interview and hire.

* While there is no guarantee any individual will be hired, we hope the support of NHLA and our network will be helpful to identifying and preparing candidates for consideration in the Administration's process and provide them with a unique professional development experience. 


  • The 2013 Presidential Appointment Primer and 2008 Presidential Appointment Primer created by the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (a NHLA member organization) provides helpful information about the Presidential appointment process, the positions that are available and how to secure an administration post.
  • Every four years, just after the Presidential election, the United States Government Policy and Supporting Positions, commonly known as the "Plum Book," is published, alternately, by the Senate and the House. The Plum Book list many (but not necessarily all) presidentially appointed positions within the Federal Government by department. Be sure to review the 2012 Plum Book,  the 2012 Plum Book Mobile App at, and even the the 2008 Plum Book (though positions and functions vary under Administrations, it may be helpful to research previous appointees and positions).
  • The 2013 Survivor's Guide for Presidential Nominees, produced by the National Academy of Public Administration, includes tips for navigating the nomination, clearance, and Senate confirmation process - as well as tips on compliance with ethics laws and financial disclosure rules.
  • The Presidential Appointee's Handbook, also prepared by the National Academy of Public Administration, is another helpful resource.
  • The Brookings Institution's Survivor's Guide for Presidential Nominees, though produced in 2000, is also helpful for walking candidates through the various phases of pursuing political appointments.
  • The Federal Register and Federal Advisory Committee Act database provide information on agency-appointed boards and commissions. These sites are helpful to monitor for volunteer boards and commissions that are generally appointed by the President or Secretary of an agency.
  • The General Services Administration Presidential Transition site includes links to various materials that provide some helpful background material like The Official Transition Guide. While some materials may be a few years old, some of the information can still be helpful to understanding the political appointment process.

This National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) endorsement application below may take you about 30 minutes to complete. We encourage you to set aside some time in order to provide quality, detailed responses that will help us in considering your application. 

This form is also very similar to the form you must complete at, so we encourage you to copy and paste your responses in order to aid in your completion of that application.

Following are our question categories:
1. Contact Information
2. Preferred Agencies & Positions in the Administration 
3. Work Experience 
4. Education 
5. Management Experience 
6. Private Sector Experience 
7. Government Experience 
8. Non-profit or Academic Experience 
9. International Experience 
10. Latino Advocacy Experience 
11. References 
12. Optional Information

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Our Mission:

The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA) was established in 1991 as a nonpartisan association of major Hispanic national organizations and distinguished Hispanic leaders from all over the nation. NHLA’s mission calls for unity among Latinos around the country to provide the Hispanic community with greater visibility and a clearer, stronger influence in our country’s affairs.

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The National Hispanic Leadership Agenda
1133 19th St NW, Suite 1035
Washington, DC 20036

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