Lorraine Cortés-Vázquez is the executive vice president for Multicultural Markets & Engagement at AARP. Lorraine brings to this position a distinguished career in the nonprofit, government and corporate sectors that extends more than 30 years.
Most recently, she was New York's Secretary of State, the first Hispanic to serve in that role. Lorraine also served as vice president of Government and Public Affairs at Cablevision Systems Corporation, a leading media, entertainment and telecommunications company.
Her work in the nonprofit sector has gained her national recognition. Cortés-Vázquez served as president of the Hispanic Federation, a nonprofit network of 90 Latino health and human service agencies in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Pennsylvania, aiding more than 2 million Latinos annually. Under her direction, the Hispanic Federation provided more than $1 million annually in capacity-building grants.
It also coordinated the "Latino Fund Collaborative," a national coalition of eight regional organizations to create endowments and increase donor campaigns within the Latino community. Cortés-Vázquez expanded the organization's annual Hispanic public policy poll to include the tri-state area, making it the largest of its kind in the Northeast. The Hispanic Federation created advocacy campaigns and affinity groups on AIDS, education, immigration and child welfare, and also played a leadership role in relief efforts for victims of natural disasters in Central and South America, as well as in the Caribbean.
In the early 1990s, Cortés-Vázquez served as executive director of ASPIRA of New York, the nation's oldest and largest non-profit Latino youth leadership development and education advocacy agency. Under her tenure, the organization created an Endowment Fund and re-established the post-secondary education program in community volunteer service project as its core leadership experience. It was expanded to include a public policy training initiative. For the first time in the organization's history, school-based chapters were established beyond the city to New York's upstate school districts.
Cortés-Vázquez also has extensive experience in government service and in the aging community. Earlier in her career, she held a variety of positions working with older adults, preschool age children and teenagers in East Harlem. She also worked at the New York City Department of Aging, where she became chief of the Bureau of Program and Resource Development. As bureau chief, she facilitated public and private partnerships and increased the number of community-based service providers, while ensuring they were held to the same standards as city and state facilities.
She served on the New York State Board of Regents and as chief of staff to former New York Assembly member Roberto Ramirez. As New York Bronx County Chairman she oversaw the Puerto Rican Hispanic Task Force and the annual Somos El Futuro Conference. Cortés-Vázquez was a Commissioner on the New York Redistricting Commission and a member of the New York City Civilian Complaint Review Board.
A graduate of Hunter College, Cortés-Vázquez earned a master's degree from New York University's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. She is a Toll Fellow, having completed the national leadership program for elected and appointed officials. She earned certificates from Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government and from Columbia University's School of Non-Profit Management.