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Violeta Hernández Espinosa

Legislative and Policy Director, Education/Directora legislativa y de políticas

A native of Michoacán, Mexico, Violeta immigrated to southern Minnesota in 1994 after a major economic crisis left her farming family with no choice but to leave their small farming community. They started a new life in another rural farming town, Wells, Minnesota. In 2007, she received her bachelor’s degree from Gustavus Adolphus College and in 2015 she earned a Master of Development Practice from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. At Humphrey she was an Interdisciplinary Center for the Study of Global Change fellow, research assistant for Humphrey School Dean Eric Schwartz, and co-recipient of the Freeman-Stassen Award. 

Violeta has diverse professional experience in the private and non-profit sector, which gives her a nuanced understanding of how to bring about social change. Most recently, she was involved in philanthropic work through grantmaking as a Ron McKinley Philanthropy Fellow and Program Associate at the Blandin Foundation. Past roles include work in commodity merchandising and human resources at Cargill Corporation and admission counseling for Gustavus Adolphus College. She has also worked as an international development practitioner with Redes de Tutoría S.C. nonprofit and the Secretariat of Public Education (SEB) in Mexico, Rainforest Alliance in Ecuador and Ateneo de Manila University in the Philippines. 

Across professional positions and work with communities, Violeta’s work has focused on racial minorities and underserved communities through educational and community development projects. She has worked and studied in various parts of the United States, Mexico, China, Ecuador and the Philippines.

Photograph of  Violeta  Hernández Espinosa
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