Building on
American Latino Success
To Forge A Stronger America

Arturo Vargas

Executive Director
National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO)


Arturo Vargas is the Executive Director of the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials, a national membership organization of Latino policymakers and their supporters governed by a 25-member Board of Directors. Arturo also serves as Executive Director of the NALEO Educational Fund, an affiliated national nonprofit organization that strengthens American democracy by promoting the full participation of Latinos in civic life.


The NALEO Educational Fund’s programmatic activities include U.S. citizenship outreach and assistance, civic participation and integration, voter engagement, technical assistance to elected and appointed Latino officials, research on Latino demographic and electoral trends, and policy analysis and advocacy on access to the democratic process. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the NALEO Educational Fund is governed by a 15-member Board of Directors, maintains offices in Houston, New York and Washington, D.C., and has an annual budget of $6 million.Prior to joining NALEO, Arturo was Vice President for Community Education and Public Policy of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund where he supervised and directed MALDEF’s community education and leadership development programs. His prior positions at MALDEF included Director of Outreach and Policy where he coordinated the organization’s

1991 redistricting efforts which led to an historic increase in the number of Latinos serving in the California legislature. Before that, Arturo directed MALDEF’s National 1990 Census Program, an award-winning national outreach and public policy effort to promote a full count of the Latino population. Before joining MALDEF, Arturo was the senior education policy analyst at the National Council of La Raza in Washington, D.C.

Arturo is a nationally recognized expert in Latino demographic trends, electoral participation, voting rights, the Census, and redistricting.


Arturo presently serves on the boards of Zero Divide, the Independent Sector, and the Alliance for a Better Community. He also serves on the 2010 Census Advisory Committee, appointed by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce. Arturo has received Hispanic Magazine’s Hispanic Achievement Award for Community Service, the National Federation of Hispanic Owned Newspapers’ Leadership Award, the National Association for Bilingual Education President’s Award, the City University of New York’s Civic Leadership Award, Univision’s Community Service Corazon Award, and the National School Board Association’s Hispanic Caucus Abrazo Award. He has been included in Hispanic Business Magazine’s List of 100 Hispanic Influentials twice, and has been named one of the 101 most influential Latinos five times by Latino Leaders Magazine.


Arturo holds a masters degree in Education and a bachelor’s degree in History and Spanish from Stanford University. He is from Los Angeles, and was born in El Paso, Texas.