NALEO Educational Fund Leadership
Image for Leadership
Arturo Vargas

Chief Executive Officer

Arturo Vargas is the Chief Executive Officer of NALEO Educational Fund, a national nonprofit organization that strengthens American democracy by promoting the full participation of Latinos in civic life. He also serves as the Chief Executive Officer of NALEO, a national membership organization of Latino policymakers and their supporters. Arturo has held these positions since 1994.

Prior to joining NALEO Educational Fund, Arturo held various positions at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), including Vice President for Community Education and Public Policy. Before joining MALDEF, he was the senior education policy analyst at the National Council of La Raza in Washington, D.C.

Arturo is a nationally recognized expert in Latino demographic trends, electoral participation, voting rights, the Census, and redistricting.

Arturo holds a master’s degree in Education and a bachelor’s degree in History and Spanish from Stanford University.

Erica Bernal-Martinez

Chief Operating Officer

Erica Bernal-Martinez serves as the Chief Operating Officer of NALEO Educational Fund. Erica is responsible for the strategic development, planning and implementation of all programming and membership services for the organization.

Erica joined NALEO Educational Fund in 1999 and has over the course of her professional career at NALEO Educational Fund overseen the organization’s civic engagement, development and communications departments. In 2004, Erica took a sabbatical from NALEO Educational Fund and was recruited as National Field Director for America’s Families United, which expands democracy through voter registration and education.

Erica is seen as an expert on the issue of Latino political participation and leadership. She attended California State University at Long Beach.

Karyn Piña

Chief Strategy Officer

Karyn Piña is responsible for resource acquisition, management and sustainability, corporate affairs and strategic initiatives for the organization.

After serving NALEO Educational Fund for 11 years as Senior Director of Development, Karyn accepted a two-year assignment at her alma mater serving as Arizona State University’s Chief Advancement Officer for Access ASU. In this capacity, she developed a comprehensive advancement strategy for the positioning of Access ASU within ASU’s $1B capital campaign. In 2016, Karyn once again accepted a two-year assignment at ASU as Associate Vice President for Community Outreach and Engagement at Arizona State.

Prior to joining NALEO Educational Fund, she served as the Director of Fund Development for the Tomas Rivera Policy Institute, a national public policy think tank. Karyn began her fundraising career with the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) as Director of Corporate Relations.

Karyn holds a bachelor’s degree in Political Science from Arizona State University.

Rosalind Gold

Chief Public Policy Officer

Rosalind Gold serves as Chief Public Policy Officer with NALEO Educational Fund, where she has worked for more than two decades on policy analysis and research for the organization’s naturalization and Latino civic engagement efforts. Rosalind has extensive policy expertise in the areas of newcomer civic integration, election reform, voting rights, redistricting and the decennial Census.

In December 2013, Rosalind was appointed to serve on the Los Angeles City Municipal Elections Reform Commission, which is examining approaches to improve voter turnout and civic engagement in the City. She also serves on the advisory committees and boards of several public affairs and research efforts, including the National Institute on Money in State Politics and the American Community Survey Data Users Group Steering Committee. Rosalind has delivered testimony before many public and private committee and commission hearings.

Rosalind received her J.D. from Harvard Law School and bachelor’s from Pomona College in Claremont, California.

Juan Vargas

Chief Financial Officer

Juan C. Vargas is the Chief Financial Officer at NALEO Educational Fund. Juan ensures that the organization’s financial accounting standards are met as well as all of its financial, staffing, operational and administrative needs.

Prior to joining NALEO Educational Fund in 2011, Juan severed as a Senior Financial Officer at several private universities and other non-profit organizations. He has more than 25 years of experience overseeing the Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, and Facilities Departments at various organizations.

Juan holds a master’s degree in Business Administration from Pepperdine University and a bachelor’s degree in Accounting from California State University at Long Beach.