Issues that Matter


Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, the prestigious Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy tackles the issues that matter to the nation’s Latino community, from economic empowerment to immigration reform to Latinos in key government and corporate positions, with in-depth analysis and commentary. It was founded in 1985 to address the tremendous dearth of Latinos among the student body and faculty, and a lack of discussion about the community, says founding editor Henry Ramos.

“We were hearing at that time about the growth of Latinos nationwide and how it was projected that we were going to be the largest group, but you would have never noticed that at Harvard at the time,” he told LATINO Magazine. Of the 800 students in Ramos’ graduating class, only a handful was Hispanic. The idea was to create a publication to discuss and examine issues relevant to Latinos, but initially there was some resistance, Ramos adds. “There were those who said why have something that is ethnic-specific, why not just integrate it [into the larger Harvard community.] But to the credit of the school leadership and significant senior people, we were able to do it,” said Ramos, currently a foundation advisor in southern California. To get off the ground, HJHP secured a grant from the Ford Foundation, and its first issue looked at immigration, Latino entrepreneurs, and the underrepresentation of Latinos in elected office. That first issue was published after Ramos had graduated, but he is still very involved, working with a group to build an endowment for the publication.

Entirely student-run, the HJHP is led by an editor-in-chief who is a public policy Master’s candidate at the university’s Kennedy School of Government. “The board advises the graduate students on potential topics for analysis, helps them with contacts and the students get the ball rolling,” says James Carr, chair of the advisory board. “It serves as a resource for policy analysts and advocates, and it is a way for issues related to the Latino community to be discussed.”

Coming out this spring, the HJHP’s anniversary issue will analyze the importance of the Latino vote in last year’s presidential election, and its impact on public policy issues. Previous issues have included articles on Social Security and why so many Latinos count it on for retirement, business and social media, race and ethnic media, the undocumented “dreamer” students, and the social implications of healthcare reform.

The HJHP recently named several key Latinos to its executive board, including Alma Guajardo-Crossley, Director for Diversity Initiatives at General Motors; Tony Jiménez, president and CEO the Virginia-based tech firm MicroTech; Grace Flores-Hughes, Assistant Attorney General for Community Relations at the U.S. Department of Justice; and Alejandra Campoverdi, a Senior Advisor for Innovation and Communications Strategy for Univisión Network News.

“These influential Latinos exemplify the diverse experiences and contributions of Latinos. In addition to having been leaders in their fields, they have dedicated themselves to the Latino community throughout their careers,” said HJHP Editor-in-Chief Octavio González. “We are very excited to welcome them to HJHP’s Executive Advisory Board.”

“I have always had a great admiration for the people and policy perspectives of the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy,” said Campoverdi. “As a former Senior Editor for Interviews at HJHP, it is a special privilege to serve on the board. I look forward to working with the Hon. Flores-Hughes, Mr. Jiménez, Ms. Guajardo-Crossley and the other executive advisory board members to advance the mission of HNJP.” Before joining Univision, Campoverdi was the Deputy Director of Hispanic Media at the White House during the first Obama administration. She graduated from the Kennedy School in 2008 with a Master’s in Public Policy.

“The HJHP has an outstanding reputation and I am extremely honored to serve. I look forward to connecting with such a prestigious organization and its richly talented board of advisors.” said Guajardo-Crossley, who envisions having an active role on the board. “I am there to provide a corporate perspective and impart insights from my experiences, but equally as relevant is to gain knowledge from fellow board members.”


By Patricia Guadalupe.