Name: Maria Cardona
Organization: Dewey Square Group
What Makes This Person a Game Changer: Named as one of the most influential Latinos in the nation, Maria Cardona serves as a principal at Dewey Square Group – one of the nation’s premier public affairs firms. After joining the Dewey Square Group as its leader on Multicultural and Public Affairs, she founded its Latino Strategies practice, “Latinovations,” leveraging her depth in the Latino community by advocating on Latino issues, guiding clients on “best practices” for building support for their positions, products, and brands within the Hispanic community, and spearheading multicultural campaigns. Cardona is also known for her work as political commentator and public policy expert who frequently appears on CNN Espaňol, Telemundo, Univision, CNN and Fox. During the 2008 Election Cycle, she served as the senior advisor to the Hillary Clinton Campaign and a key surrogate to the Barack Obama General Election Campaign. Prior to joining the Dewey Square Group in 2005, Cardona led the New Democrat Network’s (NDN) outreach initiative with Hispanics nationwide, served as director of communications for the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), and served as both the deputy press secretary and Press Secretary at the Department of Commerce. During her tenure at the Department, she was the lead communications strategist for the passage of the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). She also served as communications director for the Democratic National Committee from 1998 to 2001. Cardona is currently a Board of Director numerous organizations dedicated to Latino issues and youth including Hoops Sagrado, New America Media, Citizenship Counts, PODER PAC, and the National Hispana Leadership Institute.