National Committee

As part of the National Committee, these individuals are founding partners that help chart the course for the Latino Victory Project. The founding members represent the diversity of the country, from the Pacific Northwest to Florida, from Los Angeles to New York. We rely on our committee to identify Latino leaders for public office, to provide information on regional policy and electoral developments, and to represent the Latino Victory Project at public and private events.


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Julissa Arce

Julissa Arce is a political commentator, speaker, writer and author of My (Underground) American Dream. She is aleading voice in the fight for social justice, immigrant rights and education equality. She is a contributor for CNBC and the Huffington Post.

Prior to becoming an advocate, she built a successful career on Wall Street working for Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch, and had seemingly achieved the American Dream—yet she was not part of what defined American.

Julissa immigrated to America from Mexico at the age of 11 and was undocumented for almost 15 years, some of them spent rising to prominence on Wall Street. In order to help other young people in similar circumstances, Julissa co-founded the Ascend Educational Fund (AEF). AEF is a college scholarship and mentorship program for immigrant students in New York City, regardless of their ethnicity, national original or immigration status.

Julissa uses her inspirational story to change the conversation around immigration in her book, My(Underground) American Dream (Entre Las Sombras del Sueño Americano). Arce’s personal story of sacrifice, pain and suffering seeks to add a new perspective that will echo the stories of millions living here without a voice.

Arce often gives talks at events such as Tedx and the Forbes Reinventing America Summit and has appeared on CNN, MSNBC, NPR, FOX News, Telemundo, Bloomberg TV and Univision. She serves on the board of directors of the National Immigration Law Center and CollegeSpring. She was officially sworn in as an American citizen in August of 2014.


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Nathaly Arriola

Nathaly Arriola serves as Vice President for The Messina Group, an international consulting firm founded by Obama for America 2012 campaign manager Jim Messina. Through her job at The Messina Group, Nathaly works to create and manage data driven campaigns for organizations in the private, public and social sector. She’s served the Obama Administration in the White House as Press Secretary at the Office of National Drug Control Policy and as Press Secretary and Deputy Director for Communications at the Office of Personnel Management where she represented over four million United States federal employees. She has held other high level positions in the United States Government, business and political campaigns such as National Hispanic Press Coordinator on the 2012 Obama Campaign in Chicago, Hispanic Media Press Secretary for Democratic Senate Majority Leader Senator Harry Reid and Head of Communications and Public Policy at Homejoy, a startup in San Francisco. She currently serves on the Alumni Board of Directors for her Alma Matter, The University of California, Santa Barbara and on the board of Inclusv, an organization that works to break down the barriers that have traditionally prevented people of color from advancing in politics. Nathaly is also the founder of Defensa Ambiental, a multinational NGO founded in 2015 which connects environmentally and politically conscious United States Latinos with environmental projects and advocacy opportunities in their home countries.


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Cecilia Cabello

Cecilia Cabello is Chief of Staff to Los Angeles City Controller Ron Galperin. The City Controller, an independently elected citywide official, serves as the City’s chief auditor and accountant.

Cecilia joined the Controller’s Office from the Southwest Regional Council of Carpenters, where as Director of Government Relations she was responsible for the union’s political and governmental relations in Los Angeles County. She was tapped as Hillary for America’s California State Director during the 2016 general campaign and California Deputy Political Director for the 2016 primary campaign.

Cecilia was previously Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti’s Director of Intergovernmental Relations where she oversaw the administration’s relations at all levels of government and played key roles in advancing critical legislation and securing billions of dollars in infrastructure funding. She also served as Garcetti’s Senior Legislative Deputy during his three terms on the L.A. City Council and long tenure as Council President.

Cecilia is a veteran public policy and political expert whose previous roles include Vice President at Mercury Public Affairs, Chief Political Advisor to the Consul General of Israel in Los Angeles, and Special Projects Manager for then-Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis.

Cecilia is a graduate of Columbia University in New York. A native Angeleno, she proudly serves on the boards of Latino Victory, Equality California, and AvanceDemocratic Club. She lives in the Echo Park neighborhood of Los Angeles with her husband and cat.

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Roel Campos

Roel Campos is a partner and the National Chair of Securities Regulation and Enforcement at the law firm Locke Lord, LLP. Between 2002-2007, Roel was appointed as a Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC). From 2008-2013, Roel served with national security experts on the Presidential Intelligence Advisory Board (PIAB), one of the most prestigious of the Presidential citizens advisory boards. Campos earned his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1979, his M.B.A. from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1972, and in 1971 earned his B.S. from the United States Air Force Academy.

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Rosalina Cárdenas

Rosalina Cárdenas is the President of the Cardenas Strategy Group, where she leads and directs all activities of a full service communications agency with a focus on education, advocacy and political campaigns. Previously, Cardenas was Vice President of Political, Advocacy & Government at Univision, where she was involved in helping numerous campaigns across the country. Cárdenas received her bachelor’s degree from California State University at Los Angeles and her MBA from the Graziadio School of Business and Management. Cárdenas resides in South Pasadena, California with her husband and their three children.

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Teresa Chaurand

Teresa Chaurand is currently the Director of Intergovernmental and External Affairs at the Peace Corps. From July 2011 to June 2015, she served as the Special Assistant to the President for the Outreach & Recruitment Team in the Presidential Personnel Office (PPO) where she was responsible for sourcing candidates for the Administration and worked directly with stakeholders to identify talent and manage relationships. Before joining the Obama Administration, Teresa served as the owner and Senior Partner of Vista Communications. Her clients included corporate, non-profit and government entities. Ms. Chaurand is originally from Kansas City, MO but currently resides in Maryland along with her husband Enrique Chaurand and their 5 children.


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Jacki Cisneros

Jacki Cisneros is the vice president and co-founder of The Gilbert & Jacki Cisneros Foundation, an organization committed to improving the level of Hispanic education in the country.


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Gabriel Esparza

Gabriel is currently the Sr. Vice President & Head of Global Partnerships at RapidSOS – an advanced emergency tech start-up that is revolutionizing the emergency ecosystem in the U.S. and around the world. The 911 infrastructure in the U.S. dates back to the 1960’s and receives no data in an emergency, leading to over 10,000 fatalities a year according to the FCC. RapidSOS is using hybrid-device location technology and a modern IP-based network to provide a rich data link from any connected device directly to 911 and first responders. Using evolving predictive analytic algorithms, RapidSOS will soon be able to see when and where every emergency is occurring in the U.S. – allowing for the ability to preempt emergencies by warning people in harm’s way.

Originally an early investor and advisor to RapidSOS, Gabe was brought in to lead the business side of the company, including business development, marketing and client management. Gabe is also a public official in the City of Los Angeles, having been appointed to the Civil Service Commission in 2009. The Civil Service Commission oversees the 50,000 employees of the City of Los Angeles, including appeals from discharge, discrimination complaints, and other administrative matters.

Prior to joining RapidSOS, Gabe spent 13 years at American Express where he led global business development for the commercial payments division. Other career stops include time with Diamond Technology Partners, The Walt Disney Company, G.E., and Wells Fargo Bank. Gabe was also co-founder and chairman of the board of the Bronx Charter School for the Arts in New York City, co-founder and board member of both Harvard and Stanford Latino Alumni Associations, and on the executive committee of the Harvard Business School Alumni Board.

Gabe holds an MBA from Harvard Business School and a BA in International Relations and Psychology from Stanford University. He and his wife live in Los Angeles, CA with their two children.


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Helga Flores Trejo

Helga Flores Trejo is a foreign policy and development expert who has lived and worked in Bonn, Berlin, Belgrade, Washington D.C. and Brasilia. Currently, she is heading external relations at the Inter-American Investment Corporation IIC, a multilateral financial institution – member of the IDB Group – that promotes small and medium enterprises in Latin America and the Caribbean. Prior to joining the IDB Group, she served as Executive Director of the Heinrich Boell Foundation office in Washington, one of the largest foreign policy, democracy and development German think tanks. Flores Trejo holds a Master on International Relations and speaks Spanish, German, English, French and Portuguese.


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Glen S. Fukushima

Glen S. Fukushima is a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress, where he focuses on U.S. policy toward Asia. From 1990 to 2012, he was based in Tokyo as a senior executive with several major multinational corporations, including AT&T Corp.; Arthur D. Little, Inc.; Cadence Design Systems, Inc.; NCR Corp.; and Airbus. He also served as President of the American Chamber of Commerce in Japan. Previously, he served as Deputy Assistant United States Trade Representative for Japan and China in the Executive Office of the President. A native of California, Fukushima was educated at Stanford University, Harvard University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences, Harvard Business School, and Harvard Law School.


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Humberto Garcia-Sjogrim

Humberto is an intrapreneur with a broad background spanning multiple cultures, functions and industries. He regularly contributes diverse perspectives and viewpoints based on his experience across subject areas and he excels at uncovering complexity. Humberto is currently Vice President of Hispanic Strategies at The Coca-Cola Company. Prior to this role Humberto served as Director of Investor Relations at The Coca-Cola Company. From 2010 to 2012, Humberto led Coca-Cola Refreshment’s South Florida Market Unit, with full P&L responsibility and a team of more than 500 sales and merchandising associates. Prior to this role Humberto spearheaded key corporate initiatives including the development, and rollout, of the Company’s 2020 Vision; the conceptualization, of Live Positively; and the design and construction of the new World of Coca-Cola. Humberto Joined The Coca-Cola Company in 2001 as a member of Fizzion, the company’s Incubator established in that same year. Prior to joining Coca-Cola, Humberto launched a financial services ASP, and worked in corporate planning and strategy roles at Choice Hotels International and Taco Bell Corp.


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Horacio Gutierrez

Horacio Gutiérrez is Spotify General Counsel. Previously, Gutiérrez was Microsoft’s associate general counsel for Europe, Middle East and Africa. He holds a Master of Laws degree from Harvard Law School; a Juris Doctor from the University Of Miami School Of Law; and a Bachelor of Laws degree from Universidad Católica Andres Bello. Gutiérrez enjoys reading and traveling around the world with his wife, two daughters and son.

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John Loredo

John Loredo first pursued his passion for politics when attending Phoenix College in 1986. He was elected President of M.E.Ch.A. (Movimento Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan) in 1989 and later became President-Founding member of the LULAC Young Adult Council.
John Loredo was first elected to the Arizona State House of Representatives in 1996, and won re-election in 1998, 2000 and 2002. He served as Democratic Whip for the 44th Legislative Session and as the Democratic Leader during the 46th Legislative Session. In 2010, Loredo boycotted the passage of SB1070. Since the success of the boycott, no anti-immigration legislation has passed in the Arizona State House. He currently serves as the President of a prominent progressive political consultancy firm located in Phoenix, Arizona.

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Moses C. Mercado

Moses C. Mercado has more than 16 years of experience at the highest levels of Congress, national politics and corporate lobbying. He has established an expertise in the development of public policy and managing effective public affairs campaigns, and is a premier political organizer for leading public officials. Now at Ogilvy Government Relations, Mercado advises Fortune 100 companies, financial institutions and national trade associations on successfully navigating legislative and regulatory challenges. Mercado is a graduate of the University of Texas and received a law degree from South Texas College of Law in Houston.


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Regina Montoya

Regina Montoya is a Harvard-trained attorney who has been nationally recognized as one of the top lawyers in the country, and she is a former award-winning television commentator. Ms. Montoya is currently working on a book about the importance of incorporating Latinos into the economic, political and social fabric of America, and she is a frequent public speaker on a wide range of issues including health care, poverty, diversity and children.

In 1993, Ms. Montoya served in the White House as an Assistant to the President and Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs. In 1998, she was nominated by the President to serve as a U.S. Representative to the 53rd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations.

Previously, Ms. Montoya served as the Senior Vice President, External Relations and General Counsel at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas. She was the chief executive officer of the New America Alliance.

Ms. Montoya is the Chair of the Board of the Mexican American Legal Defense Educational Fund (MALDEF) and Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings’ Task Force on Poverty. She is a member of the Board of Directors of Girls Inc. (National Board), the DFW International Airport (Secretary of the Board), Texas Book Festival, Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas, the Center for Public Policy Priorities, the Harvard Club of Dallas, ChildCareGroup, the SMU Tate Lecture Series and the Dallas Friday Group, and she serves on the Texas Lyceum Advisory Council.


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Taylor Moreno

Taylor Moreno is the Chief of Staff of Mayor Oscar Leeser of El Paso, Texas. Previously, Moreno was the Executive Director of Avance in El Paso, a non-profit that teaches low-income parents about raising healthy, well-loved and well-adjusted children. Before that, Moreno was El Paso Mayor John Cook’s intergovernmental affairs coordinator. Moreno spent the previous four years in Washington, D.C., working for former U.S. Rep. Silvestre Reyes, D-Texas, as a senior legislative assistant. She has a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Arizona and is a fifth generation El Pasoan.


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Ana Ortiz

The talented and vibrant Ana Ortiz broke out as Hilda Suarez in ABC’s hit comedy UGLY BETTY, earning both ALMA and Imagen Awards for Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal as Betty’s sassy older sister. Along with her personal recognition, the show was honored with a 2007 Emmy for Outstanding Casting for a Comedy Series, two Golden Globe awards including Best Television Series – Comedy or Musical, and another 39 wins and 66 nominations. She recently was featured opposite Viola Davis on Shonda Rhimes’s hit series HOW TO GET AWAY WITH MURDER and opposite Anthony Anderson in ABC’s new hit series BLACKISH. In addition to her recurring roles on ABC’s acclaimed BOSTON LEGAL as A.D.A Holly Raines and as Anna in the FX series set in wartime Iraq OVER THERE, Ortiz also starred in the ABC series A.U.S.A and KRISTIN, as well as the ABC pilot TRUE BLUE, Fox pilot OUTNUMBERED and NBC’s MARRY ME. Previously Ana had a fantastic arc on Showtime’s HUNG and was seen in Martin Lawrence’s BIG MOMMA’S: LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON for Fox. She has just wrapped the fourth season of Marc Cherry’s hit show DEVIOUS MAIDS. Ana is currently starring as the lead voiceover role of “Lucy” in DreamWorks Animations highly anticipated new series based off the recently released mega hit film HOME.

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Amalia Perea Mahoney

Amalia Perea Mahoney currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. She is also on the Women’s Board at the Goodman Theatre of Chicago and at the University of Chicago. She is the President of Friends of the St. Columbanus Food Pantry, and a member of the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the Chicago Committee of Human Rights Watch, Arts Club of Chicago, and the Aspen Institute Society of Fellows. Mahoney received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Loyola University Chicago.

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Robert Raben

Robert’s aggressively bipartisan approach was honed during a highly respected legislative career that began on Congressman Barney Frank’s (D-MA) staff and culminated in House Judiciary Committee Chairman Henry Hyde’s (R-IL) endorsement of his appointment to the Justice Department as Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs.

Robert built a reputation for collegiality and effectiveness through his collaboration with Republican members and staff on issues including the omnibus patent reform bill, database protection standards, and copyright liability for Internet service providers.

In 1999, Mr. Raben reputation and effectiveness caught the attention of the White House, earning him an appointment as Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General and, subsequently, Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legislative Affairs.

After graduating from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania and New York University School of Law, Robert was an associate with the law firm of Arnold & Porter. Soon after, he joined the faculty of Georgetown University Law School as an adjunct professor – a position he held until his confirmation as Assistant Attorney General. In 2002 Robert founded The Raben Group and serves as President.

Additionally, Robert is the President of the Hispanic Bar Association of DC Foundation and currently chairs the Hispanic National Bar Association’s Endorsement Committee.

He serves on the boards of the My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, The American Constitution Society, International Refugee Assistance Project, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, NCLR Action Fund and the DC Public Education Fund.

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Oscar Ramirez

Oscar Ramirez is a seasoned Democratic strategist with over a decade of political and policy experience in senior roles on national political campaigns, on Capitol Hill and in the Obama administration. Oscar is a Principal at the Podesta Group, the preeminent Washington, DC government relations and public relations firm where he works with technology, telecommunications and renewable energy companies. Oscar has been named by Washington Life Magazine as one of “Washington DC’s most influential movers and shakers under 40,” and was listed by The Huffington Post as one of the top “40 Under 40 Latinos in American Politics.”  Oscar, who is one of the Democratic Party’s top Latino donors and political operatives, is a prominent player in national Democratic politics. He was 1st Vice Chair of the Maryland Democratic Party under Governor Martin O’Malley and was a Democratic National Committee member. He also held leadership positions on the 2004 John Kerry presidential campaign in battleground Ohio and in 2008 as Barack Obama’s Virginia policy director. He lives in Washington, DC with his wife, Stephanie Valencia, and their dogs, Dug and Lucy.


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Ross Romero

Ross Romero currently serves as a White House Appointee and on the Board of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO). Ross previously served the Senate Minority Leader in the Utah State Senate from 2010-2012; earlier, he served one term in the Utah House of Representatives. Ross practiced law for 10 years as a partner/shareholder in the law firm Jones, Waldo, Holbrook & McDonough PC in Salt Lake City and was a vice president, sales resource officer at Zion Bank. Romero was born in Pueblo, Colo., but was raised in Salt Lake City. He received his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Utah and his law degree from the University of Michigan. Romero is married to Cecilia M. Romero and they have two children


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Isaac Ruiz

Isaac Ruiz is a partner with Keller Rohrback. He was selected to the 2015 and 2016 Washington Super Lawyers lists and is rated a “Superb” lawyer by Avvo. The first college graduate in his family, Mr. Ruiz completed his degree at the University of Texas at Austin (Government and Economics) in just two and a half years. In 2000, he graduated magna cum laude from Notre Dame Law School, where he graded onto the Notre Dame Law Review, served on the Journal of College & University Law, and won the Arthur Abel Memorial Award for best article. After law school, Mr. Ruiz served as a judicial law clerk for the Honorable Carlos F. Lucero of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit in Denver, Colorado. Mr. Ruiz also worked with Brownstein Hyatt Farber Schreck, LLP in Denver and with Perkins Coie LLP in Seattle. In 2015, Seattle Mayor Ed Murray nominated Mr. Ruiz to serve as a Commissioner on the Seattle Community Police Commission (CPC), a civilian commission with a mandate to develop reform recommendations and represent community interests on police matters. The City Council approved the nomination in early 2016. Mr. Ruiz also serves as the Vice President of the QLaw Foundation, which provides free legal services to members of the LGBTQ community and education about legal issues affecting the LGBTQ community.

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Michael Sawaya

Michael Sawaya is a Colorado native, born in Trinidad to George and Jackie Sawaya, and moved to Denver when he was three years old. He is the founder of The Sawaya Law Firm in Denver, Colorado. He attended Denver public schools, The University of Colorado and received his B.A. at The Colorado College in Colorado Springs. Michael attended Texas Tech University School of Law, graduating with honors in 1975 and he is a member of The Order of Coif legal honorary society and the Phi Kappi Phi honorary society. He started practicing law in 1975 and started The Sawaya Law Firm on April 1, 1977. For 14 years he carried on an active general practice of law and began specializing in injury cases only in 1989. Michael has tried more than 100 civil jury trials and has appeared hundreds of times in courts throughout Colorado and in the federal courts of several states. He is an advocate for the rights of injured people and has also spent years supporting the NAACP in an advisory capacity and as counsel.


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Victor Sierra

Mr. Sierra currently serves as Chairman & CEO of Torino Capital LLC., one of the most respected FI Emerging Markets Financial Institutions in Wall Street. From 2006 – 2009 he was the head of the EM Retail Solution Group at Dresdner Kleinwort NYC ( currently Commerzbank Germany), from 1996 to 2006 he was the Director for Latin America at ABN AMRO Bank NYC (currently RBS). Throughout his carrier Mr. Sierra has been engaged in multiple transactions with the private and public sector. He has held meetings and negotiations on investment banking and bond transactions with CEOs, heads of States, ministers, and cabinet members. His day to day work allows him to engage prominent world leaders on different topics. Mr. Sierra has a strong expertise and market intelligence into Latin America.

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Dr. Ramon Tallaj

Dr. Ramon Tallaj is an internist in New York, New York and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Bronx-Lebanon Hospital Center Health Care System and Montefiore Medical Center. He received his medical degree from Universidad Nacional Pedro Henriquez Urena and has been in practice for 34 years.


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Stephanie Valencia

Stephanie Valencia is one of Washington, DC’s leading political strategists, having spent over ten years working on campaigns, in Congress, and building coalitions and running issue campaigns from the White House, Department of Commerce and now the private sector. Stephanie is currently at Google’s Washington, DC policy office, managing the company’s strategic outreach and partnerships with third party advocacy groups and think tanks. She works on issues ranging from the transatlantic digital agenda and user privacy to patent reform and broadband access. Stephanie started her career in the nation’s capital as a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Fellow for the U.S. Senate Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee, chaired by Senators Tom Dashcle (D-SD) and Hillary Clinton (D-NY). Stephanie, a graduate of Boston College, was born and raised in New Mexico. She and her husband Oscar live on Capitol Hill with their two dogs, Dug and Lucy.


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Pat Villareal

Pat Villareal is an internationally recognized authority in securities litigation, corporate governance, and director and officer fiduciary duty matters. She has three decades of experience representing public and private companies, boards of directors, and individual directors and officers in high-stakes litigation, SEC and internal investigations, and Delaware shareholder litigation.

Pat has been lead lawyer for Oncor Electric Delivery and its board on the bankruptcy of its parent, EFH; Dell and its board on securities, derivative, and ERISA litigation and regulatory investigations; Potash Corporation on its successful defense to a hostile BHP takeover bid; and Electronic Data Systems and its board on parallel securities, derivative, and ERISA litigation and regulatory litigation. She has done extensive counseling on corporate governance, fiduciary duty, and D&O indemnification and insurance matters for public companies, boards of directors, and financially challenged companies.

Pat has been ranked by Chambers USA as a “Leader in the Field” and Band 1 in securities litigation since 2006. In 2014, Chambers ranked her as a nationally recognized practitioner in securities litigation and praised her as “an absolute go to” securities litigator, who clients say instills “tremendous confidence when she speaks and makes recommendations.” And in past years, Chambers has “hailed [her] as a leading securities litigator” and noted that “[p]eers are especially impressed with her abilities in both the boardroom and the courtroom.” Pat was selected as a “2015 Lawyer of the Year” by Best Lawyers in America for her work in SEC, telecom, and energy enforcement in Dallas, Texas and as a “Litigation Star” by Benchmark Litigation: The Definitive Guide to America’s Leading Litigation Firms & Attorneys in 2014 and 2015 for outstanding work in securities litigation.


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Imaad Zuberi

Imaad is a private equity and venture capital executive; he currently serves as Founding Vice President, Strategic Development at Fund Athena. Immad also serves as Vice Chairman at Avenue Ventures, a boutique private equity and venture capital firm. Imaad serves on Organizing for Action’s Board of Directors and was a national co-chair for Obama’s National Finance Committee. Imaad studied at University of Souther California, Stanford University and University of Southern California Marshall School of Business. In addition to English, Imaad speaks Hindi, Chinese and Arabic and he is based out of Los Angeles.