Esther Aguilera, one of Washington's top strategic thinkers, is President & CEO of CHCI, a position she has held since November 2004. Under her leadership, CHCI continues to aggressively expand national programs and services to Hispanic high school, college, and graduate students - growing the organization's annual budget and national visibility. Propelled by her passion and her steadfast leadership, CHCI revenue has grown by more than 85 percent since 2005.
In March 2012 she was bestowed the Cross of Isabel la Catolica by the Ambassador of Spain Jorge Dezcallar. The honor was decreed by Royal Proclamation from King Juan Carlos I of Spain. Aguilera was chosen for her extraordinary character and efforts that have improved relations between Spain and the American Latino community.
In February 2011, she was featured as one of the nation's top 90 female mentoring leaders by Women of Wealth magazine. Aguilera is passionate about education and is a frequent contributor to the national discussion with her most recent op-ed appearing in the 2011 summer edition of Latino magazine.
She has been recognized as one of the 100 most influential Hispanics in Washington, D.C., presented with Hispanic magazine's 2006 Latina Excellence Award in Education, and was featured in Latino Leaders magazine's 2007 women's issue for her positive impact in the community. Just last year, she was awarded the 2010 Alumni Seal Award for Service to the Community from her alma mater, Occidental College in Los Angeles.
Aguilera's unique expertise - derived from extensive senior management experience in corporate, public affairs, policy, legislation, fundraising, and the nonprofit sector - makes her a sought out expert. In January 2011, U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry appointed Aguilera to its newly created Hispanic Council on Federal Employment to advise him on leading employment practices in the effort to remove barriers to recruitment, hiring, retention, and advancement of Hispanics in the Federal workforce.