Diversity, Equity & Social Justice

Hispanics in the White House: From the Secret Service to the First Lady’s Office

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In honor of Hispanic Heritage Month, USC Dornsife Center for the Political Future (CPF) hosts a panel discussion with fall 2022 CPF fellow Noelia Rodriguez, Hector Hernandez and Maria Romero-Morales.

Hernandez, a former special agent in the U.S. Secret Service, and Rodriguez, former press secretary and communications director to Laura Bush and current chief of staff for Metrolink, discuss their experiences working in the White House and their careers, including the challenges and discrimination they faced, as trailblazing Mexican Americans.

The panel is moderated by Romero-Morales, assistant chief diversity officer for communication, community and student engagement at USC, and is produced in partnership with the USC Latino Alumni Association, USC Office of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, USC Price Latinx Student Association, La CASA and Trojan Democrats.

Who Will Benefit

– Those looking to learn more about the challenges faced by Latinx leaders in the White House
– Students or career changers interested in obtaining a position in politics
– Those who want to pursue untraditional pathways to political careers

About Our Featured Faculty

Maria Romero-Morales is the assistant chief diversity officer for communication, community and student engagement at the USC Office of Inclusion and Diversity. She brings along with her over 15 years of experience in K-12, community college, and higher education, where she has developed wide-ranging expertise spanning from recruitment and retention of students with non-traditional experiences, equity focused professional development for STEM faculty, and strategies to support higher education staff and students of color. Her commitment and passion for higher education has led to her service on a range of committees on campus and in her community as an elected member of the El Monte city council. Maria is a distinguished first-generation, Triple-USC Trojan earning her EdD with an emphasis on high impact practices for students of color, an MPA from USC Price School of Public Policy, and BS focused on organizational change from USC Marshall School of Business.