Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute

  • District of Columbia


2114 G Street Northwest
District of Columbia
United States

About Us

The Institute’s Founders

Founded in 2015 through the vision and generosity of GW Alumni Gilbert Cisneros, his wife Jacki, and their foundation, the Institute is dedicated to supporting and accelerating the development of leaders of character for the Hispanic community and the nation through student leadership training, professional development, community engagement, and research and policy initiatives.

Cisneros Scholars and Caminos al Futuro Programs

The Institute’s signature programs are Cisneros Scholars, an undergraduate scholarship and leadership development program, and Caminos al Futuro, a pre-college summer enrichment program. Cisneros Scholars are chosen for their academic ability, leadership potential, and commitment to serving the Hispanic community. In addition to a generous 4-year scholarship, they participate in mentoring, leadership development, and community service activities and receive academic advising and internship placement support. Caminos al Futuro helps high school rising seniors from across the nation explore what it means to live and study at a selective research university in the nation’s capital and prepares them for the college application process with the goal of increasing the number of Hispanic students applying to, attending, at succeeding at selective colleges and universities.

Community Engagement, Policy Research, and Public Forums

Our plans for the Cisneros Institute go beyond the students we touch directly. We are developing educational and research ties with partners serving the Hispanic community, from local community-based organizations to national advocacy groups, to U.S. and foreign governments and the multinational organizations headquartered in Washington. Further, our work brings the resources of a leading research university, a distinguished faculty, including Hispanic, Latin American and Ibero-American scholars, and committed students to bear in increasing our understanding of the challenges and opportunities facing the Hispanic community in the coming decades and what must be done to develop the talent and potential that resides in the Hispanic community. We plan to bring this scholarship to the attention of policy makers and the public through public forums, private meetings and written reports and issue briefs. We have already hosted a number of distinguished speakers and forums with more scheduled for the Fall 2017.

The Institute’s Leadership

The Institute’s Executive Director is Elizabeth Vaquera, Ph.D, Associate Professor of Sociology and Public Policy and Public Administration. Its Senior Fellow is The Honorable Louis Caldera, Professor of Leadership in the College of Professional Studies.