Beginning a New Chapter
And so this important chapter in NCLR’s story closes, and a new one begins. In preparing for Yzaguirre’s inevitable retirement and the transition of leadership, the NCLR Board of Directors unanimously selected NCLR Executive Director and COO Janet Murguia to succeed Yzaguirre. She admits that she has big shoes to fill. “I am honored and humbled that the Board of Directors has selected me to succeed a man for whom I have the utmost respect, admiration, and affection. I look forward to building on his great legacy in the years to come as we continue the critically important work of NCLR,” stated Murguia.
Yzaguirre said of the Board’s choice, “She is the kind of leader we need working with us, not only for the future of this organization, but also for the future of the Latino community.”
Murguia has been a friend to NCLR for many years. She served on the Board of Directors before joining NCLR’s Executive Staff in March 2004. She says, “It's very exciting for me to be able to work with Raul. He is an icon in the Hispanic community, someone who has dedicated his entire life to service. Raul built NCLR into an organization that is one of the most well-respected, prestigious Hispanic organizations in the country. It is a great privilege to learn from him, and I hope to use that knowledge, combined with my own background and experience, to further the work of the organization.”
Janet Murguia has emerged as a key figure among the next generation of leaders in the Latino community. She brings to NCLR a wealth of experience with the political scene, having previously worked on Capitol Hill in the Clinton White House, serving as a senior White House liaison to Congress and providing strategic and legislative advice to the president on key issues. She also served as Deputy Campaign Manager for the Gore-Lieberman campaign, and most recently was Executive Vice Chancellor for University Relations at the University of Kansas, her alma mater, overseeing the university's internal and external relations with the public, including governmental and public affairs. She says, “One of the important lessons I’ve learned is how to work with people to find common ground.”