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Helen Iris Torres

Helen Iris Torres is executive director of Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE), where she supervises and manages day-to-day operations. Under her leadership, HOPE has grown into one of the leading women’s leadership and advocacy organizations in California and the United States. She has over 25 years of alliance-building, community-relations, marketing, and fundraising experience and expertise. She organizes statewide and national conferences that educate and train over 3,000 Latinas per year. She also has been instrumental in the development and implementation of the HOPE Leadership Institute (HLI), a program that prepares adult Latinas for their next level of civic participation. HLI has resulted in more than 130 Latinas being appointed to state and local commissions, and over 200 Latinas serving on nonprofit boards to improve local communities. To date, more than 500 Latinas have graduated from HLI. In 2016 she was appointed by Governor Brown to serve on the influential Little Hoover Commission to investigate state government operations and—through reports, recommendations, and legislative proposals—promote efficiency, economy, and improved service. Most recently, she joined the California Latino Economic Institute, a group of business leaders formed to advise the California Latino Caucus. She is a sought-after speaker on women’s issues and an advisor to projects such as The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Changes Everything, a study by Maria Shriver in partnership with the Center for American Progress. She is also featured in Life Moments for Women, a book supporting the Women’s Foundation of California. She has been recognized by the Los Angeles Dodgers as a “community hero.” Most recently, her story has been part of a California State University oral and public history exhibit titled “Voces de Liberacion: Latinas in Politics in Southern California.”

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