Juan C. Otero- August 2013 Alumnus of the Month
Hometown: Bronx, NY
CHCI Program(s): CHCI Fellow
CHCI Program Placement(s): The National League of Cities
Current Position/Organization: Senior Director and Public Policy Counsel, Comcast Corporation
1. What motivated you to apply to the CHCI program(s), and why do you think they are important for Latino youth?
Without a doubt, I was intrigued by the possibility of spending time in Washington, D.C., in an academic setting that would allow me to develop professionally. As a child of working-class parents from the South Bronx, there was not a multitude of subsidized, structured opportunities to experience Washington D.C. CHCI afforded me that opportunity and continues to do so for many Latino youth today.
The program’s policy focus, structure, and flexibility were exceedingly attractive to me as I was trying to figure out my career goals. Ironically, I saw CHCI as a brief stepping stone that would allow me to briefly experience Washington. I had no idea that Washington would become home.
Regarding CHCI’s importance for Latino youth, I am convinced that I would not be in my current role and have had such amazing professional development opportunities but for the CHCI program.
2. What have you been doing since you finished the CHCI program(s)?
I have had incredible professional experiences, including working for nonprofits that represent our nation’s cities and Governors. I have also held various positions in the Administration at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the US Department of Homeland Security. Throughout these experiences, I gravitated toward communications policy and how to best leverage it for cities, states, and public policy goals, such as improving broadband adoption. I currently work for Comcast Corporation’s Federal Government Affairs department.
3. What impact did your CHCI experience have on your career and development as a leader?
CHCI gave me the needed runway in Washington, D.C., to launch my career in a credible, structured manner. As a CHCI Fellow, I worked at the National League of Cities and ultimately went to work there for almost seven years, so my experience clearly had a direct impact. I was able to leverage these experiences while working at the National Governors Association, the Department of Homeland Security, and later, the Comcast Corporation. Ultimately, CHCI taught me about the value of relationships and how to foster my own growth, while being mindful of the growth of others around me.
4. How do you continue to give back to the community?
At this stage in my career, I am so very lucky to work for a corporation that can and does use its considerable Foundation resources to help fund national, state, and local organizations of every type. In my current role, I work closely with the Comcast Foundation to ensure that community needs are met. To do this, I serve on several Boards, such as CHCI, the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute, the Hispanic Federation of New York, and quite a few others. The best part of my job is working to ensure we are doing as much as we can to improve the communities we serve.
5. Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years, and what do you still want to achieve?
I would like to continue working in the communication industry. I am passionate about its transformative impact on American and global culture. As to what I want to achieve, I will quote Voltaire: “The secret to being boring is to say everything.”
6. What advice would you give current and future CHCI participants?
Find out what you are passionate about it and stick with it no matter what. It can take some time to find that place, but it is so worth it!
Past Alumni of the Month
2013-14 CHCI Alumni Executive Board - January 2015 Alumni of the Month
Mariana Kihuen - December 2014 Alumnus of the Month
Henry Fernandez - November 2014 Alumnus of the Month
Ricardo Zavala - September 2014 Alumnus of the Month
Miryam Catherine Granthon-Gerdine - August 2014 Alumnus of the Month
Angelica Reza Wind - July 2014 Alumna of the Month
Ray Mateo - June 2014 Alumni of the Month
Hayde Calderon - May 2014 Alumni of the Month
Arnoldo Avalos - April 2014 Alumni of the Month
Elizabeth Cedillo - March 2014 Alumni of the Month
Marvin Figueroa - February 2014 Alumnus of the Month
Cris Garza - January 2014 Alumnus of the Month
Jaden Felix - December 2013 Alumni of the Month
2013 Distinguished Alumni - October/November 2013 Alumni of the Month
Fabiola Carrion - September 2013 Alumnus of the Month
Juan C. Otero- August 2013 Alumnus of the Month
Norma Dominguez - July 2013 Alumni of the Month
Francisco Heredia - June 2013 - Alumnus of the Month
Raymond Rico - May 2013 Alumnus of the Month
Alejandra Castillo - April 2013 Alumnus of the Month
Yara Lorenzo - March 2013 Alumnus of the Month
Antonio E. Sandoval & Milagros “Mimi” Aledo-Sandoval - Alumni Couple of the Month
Abel Herrero - January 2013
Jessie Mosqueda - December 2012
Kenia Seoane Lopez - CHCI Alumnus November 2012
Hon. Liza Rodriguez - 2012 Distinguished Alumnus & October 2012 Alumnus
Melissa Chabran - CHCI Alumnus June 2012
Jessie Ulibarri - CHCI Alumnus May 2012
Congressional Staff-CHCI Alumni April 2012
Anthony Alcoser-CHCI Alumnus March 2012
Diana Mendoza-CHCI Alumnus February 2012
Betsaida Alcantara-CHCI Alumnus December 2011
Orson Aguilar - CHCI 2011 Distinguished Alumnus & September 2011 Alumnus
Cynthia T. Cruz-CHCI Alumnus August 2011
Miguel Lopez - CHCI Alumnus July 2011
Alejandro Becerra - CHCI Alumnus June 2011
Staff Members for the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy - CHCI Alumnus May 2011
Happy 30th Anniversary CHCI Fellowship Program!
Raul Magdaleno - CHCI Alumnus March 2011
Carlos Elizondo -- CHCI Alumnus December 2010
Ana M. Polanco -- CHCI Alumnus April 2010
Sami Hamed -- CHCI Alumnus March 2010
Couple Edition -- CHCI Alumnus February 2010
CHCI Alumni Association Chapters' Special Edition - October 2009
Edith Rocío Robles -- CHCI Alumnus August 2009
Silvia Inéz Salazar--CHCI Alumnus July 2009
Francisco J. Uribe CHCI Alumnus June 2009
Heidy Servin-Baez CHCI Alumnus April 2009
March 2009: White House Edition
William (Bill) Arce CHCI Alumnus February 2009
Stephanie Valencia CHCI Alumnus January 2009
Miguel Ayala CHCI Alumnus December 2008
Eric Rodriguez-CHCI Alumnus November 2008
Sonia Ramirez CHCI Alumnus October 2008
Mildred Otero CHCI Alumnus September 2008
Juan Ciscomani CHCI Alumus August 2008
Leo Prieto CHCI Alumnus July 2008
Octavio Saenz CHCI Alumnus June 2008