- Janet Murguía
Civil Rights Leader
California State University, Dominguez Hills
Janet Murguía is a champion of the human spirit, demonstrating contributions as a civil rights leader and public servant, along with showing dedication to the Latino community and strong commitment to social change.
She grew up as one of seven children of immigrant parents in Kansas City, Kansas. She earned bachelor's degrees in journalism and Spanish, and a juris doctorate from the University of Kansas, and began her career in Washington, DC as legislative counsel to former Kansas Congressman Jim Slattery. Ms Murguía began working at the White House in 1994, ultimately serving as deputy assistant to President Clinton, providing strategic and legislative advice on key issues. She served as deputy director of legislative affairs, acting as a senior White House liaison to Congress, and then went on to serve as deputy campaign manager for the Gore/Lieberman presidential campaign. In 2001, she joined the University of Kansas as executive vice chancellor for university relations, overseeing the university's internal and external relations with the public.
Since 2005, Ms. Murguía has served as the president and chief executive officer at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States. Under her leadership, the organization's impact of record has been strengthened by enhancing the partnerships between NCLR and its network of community-based affiliates which annually serve millions of people. She has sought to strengthen the Latino voice on issues affecting the Hispanic community including education, health care, immigration, civil rights, the economy and the rise of hate rhetoric and crimes targeting the Latino community. She has placed special emphasis on turning Latino growth into empowerment by promoting Hispanic voter registration and participation. Under her leadership, other initiatives have helped more than 1.5 million eligible immigrants apply for citizenship.
Ms. Murguía has upheld the public trust and advanced the common good of our global community, receiving numerous awards for her role as a voice for social change.
In recognition of her extensive record of public service to all, especially to the Latino community, the Board of Trustees of the California State University and California State University, Dominguez Hills are proud to confer upon Janet Murguía the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.