by Jasmine Phiri
May 4, 2021
President and CEO,
Since 2005, Janet Murguía has served as President and CEO of UnidosUS (formerly known as National Council of La Raza)—the nation’s largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization. In that role, Murguía has sought to strengthen UnidosUS’s work and enhance its record of impact as a vital American institution. Murguía has also work to amplify the Latino voice on issues affecting the Hispanic community such as education, health care, immigration, civil rights, and the economy.
Murguía began her career in Washington, DC as legislative counsel to former Congressman Jim Slattery from her home state, Kansas. She worked with Congressman Slattery for seven years before joining the Clinton administration, where she served for six years as a deputy assistant to President Clinton, including deputy director of legislative affairs.
After serving in the Clinton administration, Murguía went on to serve as deputy campaign manager and director of constituency outreach for the Gore/Lieberman presidential campaign where she was the primary liaison between former Vice President Gore and national constituency groups. In 2001, Murguía joined the University of Kansas (KU) as Executive Vice Chancellor for University Relations, where she oversaw KU’s internal and external relations with the public. She is credited for coordinating the university’s strategic planning and marketing efforts at the four KU campuses.
Over the course of her career, Murguía has been featured in various magazines and newspapers for her work and leadership. This includes being highlighted on Hispanic Business Magazines’ “100 Top Latinas” and “100 Most Influential Hispanics” lists, Washingtonian magazine’s “100 Most Powerful Women in Washington,” The NonProfit Times’s list of top 50 leaders of “Power and Influence,” People En Español’s “100 Most Influential Hispanics,” Newsweek’s Third Annual Women and Leadership issue, Poder magazine’s “The Poderosos 100,” Latino Leaders magazine’s “101 Top Leaders of the Hispanic Community,” and Hispanic magazine’s “Powerful Latinos.” Murguía was also the first Hispanic to give the keynote speech at the annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Unity Breakfast in Birmingham, Alabama. Murguía also received Alpha Phi’s Frances E. Willard Award in 2018.
In 2019 Murguía was inducted into the Starr Women’s Hall of Fame which recognizes Kansas City women who have made significant and enduring contributions to their fields of endeavor and helped open new frontiers for women.
Murguía is currently a Board member of the Clinton Foundation, and the Hispanic Association for Corporate Responsibility. She also serves as a member of Diversity Advisory Councils for Bank of America, Charter Communications, Comcast/NBC Universal, and Wells Fargo.
She received three degrees from KU: a B.S. degree in journalism, a B.A. degree in Spanish, and a J.D. degree from the KU School of Law. She has also received several honorary degrees—a Doctor of Humane Letters from California State University, Dominguez Hills, an honorary Doctor of Laws from Wake Forest University, and an honorary Doctor of Laws from Williams College.