Name: Carlos Elizondo
Hometown: Harlingen, Texas
Current City: Washington, D.C.
Current Job: Social Secretary to the Vice President & Dr. Biden
CHCI Program: CHCI Fellow, 1988
Mexican Government Tourism Office, Embassy of Mexico, Washington, D.C.
1. What have you been doing since you finished the CHCI program(s)?
Shortly after completing my CHCI fellowship, I began working at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) and after a number of events related positions at trade associations in Washington, I was fortunate enough to serve as an appointee in the Clinton-Gore Administration in both the White House and in the Office of the U.S. Chief of Protocol. Subsequently, I was the Director of Presidential Events for the President of Georgetown University. Currently, I am an appointee in the Obama-Biden Administration serving as Social Secretary to the Vice President & Dr. Biden.
2. What impact did your CHCI experience have on your career and development as a leader?
My vast experiences at CHCI including – exposure to our nation’s capital, to other young Hispanics from various backgrounds, and to a number of Hispanic professional role models – provided me with a solid foundation for my future career path.
3. How have you stayed engaged in community service?
In both my professional and personal life, it has always been important to me to represent our community in a positive manner. I also think it equally important to give back to the community as I am able, as CHCI did for me. In that regard, I have been honored on many occasions to mentor and share my experiences with other young latinos/latinas, many of whom have been from my home area of south Texas. While in D.C., I have also volunteered in a number of local community organizations.
4. What advice would you give current and future CHCI participants?
Remain focused Respect others Always be prepared Take advantage of EVERY opportunity the program and Washington, D.C. has to offer Build and develop relationships Never, never burn bridges
5. Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?
Using the skills and knowledge that I have gained throughout my career, I hope to either be in the private sector, or own my own business. On a lighter note, as a senior alum, in 10 years I look forward to finding a great place to retire and to seeing the many accomplishments of the current and future CHCI classes. In any case, I am forever grateful for the opportunities my CHCI Fellowship provided me.