The board of trustees consists primarily of NHI alumni with backgrounds in business, law, medicine, and the professional sector. As a highly involved governing authority, NHI board members serve in numerous program advisory capacities and as generous donors. In addition to their regular duties as policy makers, these individuals are actively involved in the organization’s summer programs. Some serve as training faculty and others serve at the local community levels as project administrators.

The most distinctive feature of the trustees is their history with the organization. Most participated in high school and continued their involvement as program volunteers throughout their undergraduate and graduate studies. They have played multiple roles in shaping the National Hispanic Institute’s work, some for as long as 25 to 30 years.

Their priorities for the future are to increase participation of NHI alumni through local groups and a community ambassador program. Other board projects include Celebración, the organization’s international showcase of ideas generated by young Latino minds, and expanding NHI’s partnerships with national and international Latino organizations. Trustees move to add representation from new communities where the organization plans to establish additional programs.

Adriel G. Lares

San Francisco, California
Involved with NHI since 1987

BA, Stanford University.
Independent businessman, Board member-YuMe, consultant, philanthropist.

Fotos - P_Rafael_Panamá (1)

P. Rafael Olmos Rodriguez

Panama City, Panama
Involved with NHI since 2008

Colegio San Agustin Panama, Panama.

Lia Carpio

Alamosa, Colorado
Involved with NHI since 1991

BS, Social Science, Florida State University
HEAL Program Director, Adams State University
MA, Higher Education Administration and Leadership.

Tanya Fernandez-Alaniz, Esq.

McAllen, TX
NHI Member since 2004

Immigration Attorney, Monty & Ramirez, LLP

Celestino Villarreal

Brownsville, TX
NHI Member since 1996

Athletic Director, Saint Joseph Academy

Reyna Hernandez

Chicago, IL
NHI Member since 1996

A.B. in Government, Harvard University
J.D., New York Law School. Illinois State Board of Education, Assistant Superintendent
for the Center for Language and Early Childhood Development.

Janitzio Guzman

Austin , Texas
Involved with NHI since 2004

BS, The Ohio State University, 2010.
MD Candidate, The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio School of Medicine, Class of 2016.

John F. Lopez, Esq.

Austin, Texas
Involved with NHI since 1983

BA, Southwestern University, TX;
JD, University of Texas at Austin School of Law Chief Prosecutor, Grand Jury Unit, Travis County District Attorney’s Office.

Michelle Laredo-Torres

Bayside, New York
Involved with NHI since 1993

BA, Vassar College. Owner, NY Nena Productions, LLC.

Juan P. Garcia

Menlo Park, California
Involved with NHI since 1983

BS, Stanford University, CA
CEO, XNetworks, Inc., Consulting Partner, BestCAC.

Ernesto Nieto

President and Founder
Native of Houston, Texas

  • BA, Southwestern University
  • Honorary Doctorate, Austin College
  • Master’s studies in Special Education, University of Houston
  • Honorary Ph.D. Humane Letters, Texas Wesleyan University
  • Honorary Ph.D. Humane Letters, Austin College, Sherman, Texas

Michelle Saenz-Rodriguez, Esq.

Dallas, Texas
Involved with NHI since 1983

BA, University of Texas at San Antonio.
JD, Thomas M. Cooley Law School; Senior Partner, Saenz-Rodriguez & Associates Law Firm.

George Rodriguez, Esq.

Dallas, Texas
Involved with NHI since 1984

BA, University of Notre Dame
JD, Southern Methodist University.
Senior Partner, Saenz Rodriguez & Associates Law Firm.
NHI Project Administrator, Dallas.

Melissa Garcia

Austin, Texas
Involved with NHI since 1983

BA Political Science; Project Administrator – Austin, Austin Realtor for JB Goodwin, Realtors.

Red De La Portilla

Houston, Texas
Involved with NHI since 1979

Dr. Joseph P. Villescas

El Paso, Texas
Involved with NHI since 1993

BA, American Studies and English at Wesleyan University
MA, Mass Communication Theory & Research at University of Texas at Austin
PhD, Ethnic/Minority Issues & Media Studies at University of Texas at Austin

Kristina Tusini

Houston, Texas
Involved with NHI since 1991

BA, Sociology and Political Science – The University of Delaware, Newark, DE. MA, Sociology – Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

Assistant Professor, Sociology – Lone Star College, Houston, TX

Laura Acosta

Baytown, Texas
Involved with NHI since 1988

BA in Secondary Education. Composite English and History from University of St Thomas Houston, TX. Currently enrolled in MEd Educational Leadership at Lamar University.