Sindy M. Benavides (previously Executive Director) is appointed President and CEO, and Katharine Pichardo-Erskine to serve as Executive Director
WASHINGTON – Today, Latino Victory Project, the most influential national organization helping to build political power within the Latino community at every level of government, announced a new leadership team. Sindy M. Benavides, previously Latino Victory’s executive director, has been appointed President and CEO, and Katharine Pichardo-Erskine, a veteran political expert and long-time leader in advocacy, has been named Executive Director. The move comes as Latino Victory Fund aims to deepen its impact in electing more Latinos at the local and state levels while working to flip the U.S. House of Representatives.
Nathalie Rayes, who until recently served as President and CEO, was nominated by President Biden to be the next U.S. ambassador to the Republic of Croatia.
“With unprecedented challenges as a community, it is vital that we have a leadership team at the helm committed to developing Latino Victory by electing more Latinos to office, re-electing President Biden and expanding the Latino electorate,” said Latino Victory Project Board Chair Luis A. Miranda, Jr. “I am confident that Sindy and Katharine are the right leaders at this political juncture.”
“The fact is that while Latinos represent roughly 18% of the U.S. population, we only occupy about 2% of the nation’s elected offices. Representation matters – and Latino Victory is inspired by our candidates who confront long odds when they run for office, yet understand that true inclusion and progress start when they are at the table at local school board meetings, in city councils, and the halls of state legislatures and Congress,” said Latino Victory Project President and CEO Sindy M. Benavides. “I stand ready to serve as President and CEO and thank our chairman, Luis A. Miranda, Jr., and the board of directors for their deep commitment to building Latino power in every corner of our country.”
“As the presidential campaign and other critical elections come before us, the Latino Victory Fund will double down on our commitment to empowering our communities and making sure our voices are heard loud and clear in the halls of power,” said Latino Victory Project Executive Director Katharine Pichardo-Erskine. “I am honored to help lead Latino Victory as we work to impact policy on the federal and state levels, reach more voters than ever, and mobilize a historic turnout in elections up and down the ballot.”
About Sindy M. Benavides:
Sindy Marisol Benavides is the President and CEO of Latino Victory, a progressive organization dedicated to building Latino political power at the local, state, and federal levels. Sindy is a recognized national civil rights leader deeply committed to uplifting the voices of vulnerable and underserved populations. With nearly two decades in the nonprofit sector, Sindy has helped build organizations to scale from the bottom up through strategy development, governance, communication, partnerships, and community outreach.
Prior to joining Latino Victory, she served as Chief Executive Officer for the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC), and also served as the Chief Operating Officer and National Director for Civic Engagement and Community Mobilization. She also was the Vice President of Field and Political Operations for Voto Latino, and the Northern Virginia Political Director for the 2012 Kaine for Virginia senatorial campaign. She has been the National Director of Community Outreach for the Democratic National Committee and the Latino Liaison and Director of Gubernatorial Appointments for Governor Timothy M. Kaine.
A proud Honduran-American, Sindy immigrated to the United States with her family and has experienced the American Dream. She now devotes her career to public service, ensuring that countless young people, women, and immigrants have the same opportunities. She received her Bachelor of Arts from Virginia State University in Petersburg, Virginia, where she graduated Valedictorian of her class and studied Political Science with a minor in Spanish. She has also attended American University for her Master’s degree in International Affairs. Sindy is a proud alumna of Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE), Wellstone’s Advanced Campaign Management School, SPIN Academy, Virginia Commonwealth University’s Minority Political Leadership Institute and UVA’s Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership. She proudly serves as a board member of the National Disability Institute and ALLvanza. She also has served on various External Partnership, Consumer, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Councils for various Fortune 500 companies. She lives in northern Virginia with her beloved family.
About Katharine Pichardo-Erskine:
Katharine Pichardo-Erskine is a trailblazer who has melded political organizing expertise and executive leadership to become a widely recognized change-maker in the governmental, political, and civic arena. She takes charge as Executive Director at Latino Victory with a mission perfectly suited to her 25 years of experience as a successful leader and passionate advocate: building political power within the Latino community and ensuring that Latino voices are included in the nation’s policy and fiscal agenda.
Empowering Latinos, and all underrepresented communities, have always been at the center of Katharine’s adult life and career. From her start as a civic education organizer at the National Association of Latino Elected and Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund, to her time as chief of staff and other senior-level positions in government, Katharine has been at the forefront of advancing our communities. She has fought publicly for common-sense immigration reform, universal access to healthcare, a good quality education for all children, economic policies that create upward mobility for all, and fair and equal representation at all levels of government.
Most recently, Katharine served as Senior Vice President at the MirRam Group, a top-tier New York-based strategic consulting firm where she has managed some of the firm’s most prominent portfolios. Specifically, lobbying, government and community relations on behalf of corporate, labor and non-profit clients. Between 2018 and 2022, Katharine also led the firm’s political arm, as President of the Hamilton Campaign Network (HCN). In this role, Katharine worked with stakeholders around the country to engage Latinos in the political process, provide a roadmap for voter participation efforts during the 2020 Presidential campaign, and support down-ballot races in 10 strategically important states.
Born in the Dominican Republic, Katharine is a proud product of New York City public schools and Queens College of the City University of New York (CUNY). Perhaps there is no greater demonstration of her executive leadership and political acumen than her role in various successful high-profile and history-making campaigns, including the election of Adriano Espaillat as the first Dominican-American in Congress. She also helped to elect Letitia James, the first woman and person of color to be elected Attorney General of New York, and Eric Gonzalez, the first Latino District Attorney in the Northeast.
Today, Katharine is a sought-after strategist. She has appeared on various “power lists,” including City and State New York’s top political consultants list. She is also a regular political commentator on Telemundo as well as other media outlets in English and Spanish.
The Latino Victory Project is a 501c4 organization that develops a pipeline of Latino leaders and shapes public discourse to reflect the growing influence of the Latino community while also building cross-constituency alliances that can move the country forward.
The Latino Victory Fund is a progressive political action committee with the mission of growing Latino political power by increasing Latino representation at every level of government – from the county board to the Senate to the White House.