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Juana Bordas  

President of Mestiza Leadership International & Founder of the National Hispana Leadership Institute

Juana Bordas emigrated to the U.S. from Nicaragua on a banana boat. The youngest daughter in a family of eight, she was the first to go to college. Upon graduating, she joined the Peace Corps and worked in the barrios of Santiago, Chile. Bordas later received the Franklin Williams Award from the Peace Corps for her life -long commitment to advancing communities of color.

Bordas was a founder and executive director of Denver’s Mi Casa Women’s Center. Today, Mi Casa is is the largest Hispanic serving organization in Colorado. She was founding President of the National Hispana Leadership Institute (NHLI). In 2001 she founded the Circle of Latina Leadership to prepare the next generation of leaders. For her extensive work with Latinas, she was commended by Latina Style Magazine for creating “a Nation of Latina Leaders.”

Bordas was the first Latina faculty for the Center for Creative Leadership and taught in The Leadership Development Program – the most highly utilized executive training program in the world. She has designed, developed, and implemented leadership programs for national nonprofits, corporations, and government agencies across the country. She has lead The Young Hispanic Corporate Achievers since its founding teaching 13 classes and working with over 350 young leaders.

Her book "Salsa, Soul, and Spirit: Leadership for a Multicultural Age" won the International Latino Book Award for leadership in 2008 and is utilized in over 150 Universities. In 2014 her book "The Power of Latino Leadership" was recognized with the Nautilus Award for Best Multicultural book and the International Latino Award for leadership. In 2015 she contributed to the new edition of Peter Drucker’s, "Five Most Important Questions: Enduring Wisdom for Today’s Leaders."

She served as advisor to Harvard’s Hispanic Journal on Public Policy, the Kellogg National Fellows Program, as board vice chair of the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership, and a trustee of the International Leadership Association (ILA). Bordas received an honorary doctorate from Union University in 2009 and received the Life-Time Achievement Award from ILA in 2019. She is the first Latina honored with this prestigious award which has been received by Warren Bennis, Robert Greenleaf, Peter Drucker, James McGregor Burns, and Margaret Wheatley.

Bordas was selected as a Wise Woman Award by the National Center for Women’s Policy Studies and is in the Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame. In 2009 the Denver Post and the Colorado Women’s Foundation named her the Colorado Unique Woman of the Year. In 2017 she was selected by the National Diversity Council as one of the Most Influential and Powerful Latinos in America. Currently She serves as the founding president of Lideramos - The National Alliance of Latino Leadership which has as its mission to enhance and expand the number of leadership programs serving Latinos in the US. Her vision is to empower Latinos to be leaders of the 21st Century as they become one in three Americans.

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