NHI Leadership Training Faculty

Acknowledging Our Faculty
They annually come in all age ranges, life experiences, and backgrounds. The adults are college graduates, themselves former participants, a few who attended the organization’s first statewide program. All of them follow the same educational pathways. They graduated from college, are students in college, or are planning to attend college once they finish high school. Over 800 of them annually volunteer in one capacity or another. The Board Chair, Michelle-Saenz Rodriguez does double duty. As a practicing attorney, she chairs the NHI Board of Trustees, but also helps to direct the Texas LDZ, along with with her husband and attorney partner, George Rodriguez, who also provides counsel services to NHI. NHI’s long list of volunteers with professional credentials run deep. They are alumni of Stanford, Southwestern, Harvard, the Ohio State University, University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley, Florida State University, Boston University, George Washington University, University of Delaware, Vassar College, Wesleyan University, and others. And it does not stop at board levels. NHI volunteers who serve in other program capacities hold similar credentials, having attended the University of San Francisco, Texas Christian University, University of Rochester, Notre Dame, and the list continues. The one common experience that holds all of these former participants together is in pursuing a shared mission and vision of advancing the equity share of the Latino community in the American experience.    There are no words to thank these outstanding individuals for so many years of faithful service.

Texas Great Debate

Chris Nieto, BA, Southwestern University

Round Rock ISD


Kristina Tusini Rodriguez, BA, University of Delaware; MA, Temple University

Lone Star Community College

Texas Ambassador Great Debate

Celestino Villarreal, Jr., BBA, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

St. Joseph Academy


Tanya Fernandez, Esq., BA, University of Texas at Austin; JD, Thurgood Marshall School of Law, Texas Southern University

Monty and Ramirez, LLP

Texas Star Great Debate

Louie Tijerina, BBA, Texas Christian University; JD candidate, University of North Texas



Analysse Escobar, BA, University of Texas San Antonio; MBA, Our Lady of the Lake University

Office of U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett


Northeast Great Debate

Natalia Palmarini, BA, Villanova University

Montessori Education Houston


Joe Robert Gonzalez, BA, Villanova University, M.Ed, Harvard University

Tamalpais Union High School



Midwest Great Debate

Astrid Fuentes, BA, Tufts University

Saenz-Rodriguez and Associates


Andrew Perez, BA, University of North Texas

Sommerman McCaffity and Quesada


Nicholas Zebrowski, BA, University of Chicago; JD candidate, University of Southern California



Colorado LDZ

Lia Carpio, BA, Florida State University; MA, Adams State University

The Colorado Trust


Alex Del Barrio, BA, University of Texas Pan American


National LDZ

Julio Irving Cotto, BA, Boston University; MLA, St. Edward’s University

National Hispanic Institute


Samantha Sevilla, BA, Seattle University; MS, The George Washington University; PhD candidate, George Mason University



LDZ Las Americas

Maria Jose Cruz, BA, El Instituto Tecnologico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey;

Candidate, Harvard University JFK School of Government


Christopher Burge, BA, University of Texas at Austin

Dallas Independent School District





California LDZ

Luis Gonzalez, Esq., BA, Stanford University; JD, University of Texas School of Law



Jennifer Perri (Olivar), BA, University of San Francisco

Univision Networks Los Angeles

New York LDZ

Catalina Berry, BA, University of Rochester

Daughters of Charity Services of San Antonio


Juan Luis Contreras Lora, BA, Universidad Catolica Santo Domingo

Camara de Diputados, Gobierno de la Republica Dominicana


Texas LDZ

Michelle Saenz-Rodriguez, Esq., BA, University of Texas San Antonio; JD, Thomas Cooley School of Law

Saenz Rodriguez and Associates, LLP


George Rodriguez, Esq., BA, University of Notre Dame; JD, Southern Methodist School of Law

Saenz Rodriguez and Associates, LLP


International CWS

Marc Nieto, BA, University of St. Thomas; MBA, Universidad Torcuato di Tella

Small Importing, LLC


Northeast CWS

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, BA, Boston University

Community Organizer; Candidate for the U.S. Congress – NY 14th


Andres Bernal, BA, University of Texas – Rio Grande Valley; MA, University of San Diego, PhD candidate, New School University



Texas CWS

John F. Lopez, Jr., Esq., BA, Southwestern University; JD, University of Texas School of Law

Travis County District Attorney’s Office


Angela Masciale, BA, Rice University

Deloitte Houston