Margarita Varela Rosa
Margarita Varela is a project manager for the federal government. She has worked for the Department of Defense and the Department of Homeland Security. In the private sector, Margarita worked for Booz Allen Hamilton, a consulting firm, and for Honeywell Aerospace. As an engineer, she has been honored by the Maryland Society of Professional Engineers and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers for her contributions to the engineering field and her community leadership. Most recently, Margarita was selected as one of the 40 Under 40 individuals by Prospanica DC.
Currently, Margarita serves as a Commissioner for the DC Mayor’s Office on Latino Affairs, where she advises the mayor on issues of interest to the Puerto Rican community that resides in the nation’s capital. Margarita is also a columnist for the Puerto Rican newspaper, El Nuevo Día, where she focuses on issues of public policy, economic development and efforts to empower Puerto Rican civil society.
Born and raised in Cidra, Puerto Rico, Natalie discovered her passion for politics during her first year of college, completing a double major in Public Relations and Political Science at the University of Puerto Rico, Río Piedras campus. In 2016, Natalie moved to Washington, DC as part of the Córdova y Fernós congressional internship program, where she worked in the communications office of former Democratic leader, Harry Reid. Natalie then worked for Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign as a community organizer in Virginia. Currently, she is the operations coordinator at Running Start, a non-partisan, non-profit organization that trains young women to run for political office.
Rosanna leads the Washington DC office for the Center for a New Economy, a non-partisan, non-profit think tank dedicated to studying public policies for Puerto Rico. Prior to this role, Rosanna served as Legislative Director for Representative Nydia M. Velázquez, a role she assumed after having worked as a professional staff member in the House Small Business Committee. Preceding her work in Congress, she was a public policy advisor at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where she focused on the federal government’s response to Puerto Rico’s economic and fiscal crisis. Previously, Rosanna worked at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, where she gained insight into the federal appropriation budget process. She began her federal career at the U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Commerce.
Michelle Pérez Kenderish
Michelle Pérez Kenderish is a communications strategist, a designer and a branding consultant. She is the founder of Kenderish Communications, a consulting firm that uses creativity to drive innovation and social impact in the private sector.
Michelle’s career is distinguished by her unique combination of expertise, as well as her multi-sectoral experience, ranging from international economic development to communications and marketing; working in such notable places as the Inter-Development Bank in Washington, DC and media giants HBO and Discovery Networks.
Ema Marrero is a lawyer, director of business development and project manager for the On Point Strategy company. She also serves as a political analyst in radio and print media. Ema studied campaign management and government structure at the Camilo José Cela University in Madrid, Spain. Her interest in politics began at an early age. She has directed community volunteers and designed political campaigns. Additionally, Ema has been a civil rights and a gender equity activist. In 2006, the Puerto Rico Governor’s Office commended her as youth of the year for her community service.