June 20, 2003

Smithsonian Names Anna Escobedo Cabral Director of the Institution’s Center for Latino Initiatives

Anna Escobedo Cabral, president and CEO of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility in Washington, D.C., will become director of the Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives on July 21.

Cabral, 43, will be responsible for fulfilling the center’s mission of fostering understanding and appreciation of Latino history and culture using the vast resources of the Smithsonian’s collections, research and public programs, both in Washington and across the United States.

“We’re delighted to welcome Anna Cabral, an experienced leader with national stature, to this important position at this critical time,” Smithsonian Secretary Lawrence Small said in announcing her appointment. “Her work is well known and respected by Latino community representatives, members of Congress, and business leaders. She will galvanize our continued efforts to better serve the Latino community and all our visitors.”

As president and CEO of HACR since 1999, Cabral manages a national, nonprofit organization consisting of a coalition of the 10 largest and most influential national Hispanic organizations in the United States. HACR’s mission is to establish partnerships with Fortune 1000 companies to achieve greater inclusion of Hispanics in corporate America in four core areas: employment, procurement, philanthropy and governance.

President Bush appointed Cabral to the President’s Council on the 21st-Century Work Force, which provides guidance and advice to the President and the Secretary of Labor, in 2002. She is serving a two-year term (2002-2004) on the Diversity Council of the Premier Automotive Group, an enterprise of Ford Motor Company. She also serves on the boards of Martha’s Table and Sewall-Belmont House, both in Washington.

Cabral was executive staff director for the U.S. Senate Republican Conference Task Force on Hispanic Affairs from 1991 to 1999, and she was deputy staff director of the U.S. Senate Committee on the Judiciary, chaired by Sen. Orrin G. Hatch of Utah from 1993 to 1999.

Cabral, who was born in San Bernadino, Calif., received her bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California, Davis (1987) and a master’s degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University (1990). She lives with her family in McLean, Va.

Cabral succeeds Center Founding Director Refugio Rochin, who left the Smith-sonian in September 2002 to become senior associate for development at the National Hispanic Foundation of the Arts in Washington. Francisco Dallmeier, director of monitoring and assessment of the Biodiversity Program at the Smithsonian’s National Zoo, has been serving as acting director of the center.

The Smithsonian Center for Latino Initiatives was established by the Institution’s Board of Regents in May 1997 and opened its doors on Aug. 10, 1998. In establishing the center, the Regents stated: “The Latino presence in the Americas is centuries old, culturally rich and demographically vast and growing... The Center is dedicated to the generation of new knowledge... to the end that American history and culture may be understood and displayed in all its diversity.”

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