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Name: Edith Rocio Robles

Hometown: Pasco, WA

Owner, Global TransAction Communications

CHCI Fellow: 1997-1998

1st Placement: Inter-American Dialogue

2nd Placement: Congressman Robert Menendez (NJ)

1. What have you been doing since you finished the CHCI program(s)?

Upon completing the CHCI Fellowship, I ventured into the world of journalism. I worked for a national and international Spanish radio network as Senior Producer & Writer on programs about immigration, civil and human rights issues, science and health. As I missed politics, I returned to Capitol Hill and became Communications Director and spokesperson for Congresswoman Hilda L. Solis. In this capacity, I developed and implemented a communications plan that encompassed offline and online media, relationship-building and an extensive bilingual congressional website that earned several website awards. Four years after, I decided to join a public relations firm as Vice President. In this role, I provided strategic counsel to clients including Fortune 500 corporations and leading issue advocacy organizations on crisis communications, reputation management, diversity issues and coalition building.

Currently, I own Global TransAction Communications, a translation company that services Democratic Members of Congress, elected officials, political candidates as well as national organizations. I am also a communications consultant and am relied upon for bilingual and multicultural strategic communications. Some of my clients include: 2008 Democratic National Convention, US Congress Members Charles Rangel (NY), Sam Farr (CA) and Adam Schiff (CA), Obama’s Campaign for America, Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, Coalition for Comprehensive Immigration Reform and Kaiser Permanente.

2. What impact did your CHCI experience have on your career and development as a leader?

My experience as a CHCI Fellow solidified my commitment to making a difference through the communications field and acted as my bridge into the political world. Thanks to this experience, I launched my translation company so that elected officials, candidates and national organizations can direct their message in Spanish and in the most culturally appropriate manner to resonate in our community.

3. How have you stayed engaged in community service?

Since completing my CHCI Fellowship, I have had the good fortune of integrating community service into my professional life and extracurricular activities. In my capacity as board member to several organizations, I advocate incorporating Latino organizations in our community service plan.

Whether it means interpreting during community meetings, helping design a better foster care center in a Latino neighborhood in NYC, I am able to improve the lives and advocate on behalf of our community. We all have a responsibility to improve it and make a positive impact in our community.

4. What advice would you give current and future CHCI participants?

Find a mentor and a network of CHCI fellows you admire professionally to help you navigate through job interviews, salary negotiation or just listen. Nobody becomes an accomplished professional on their own. We all need others. However, remember you must also give back and help others. Take the time to help others. The blessings will be returned twofold and most importantly, it will strengthen you as an individual and our community as a whole.

5. Where do you see yourself in the next 5-10 years?

In five to ten years from now, I envision my translation company well established in the global market. I have concentrated in the US and am expanding our services to the international community. I also hope to continue using my communications and foreign language skills to empower the Latino community. Since international relations and politics are my passion, I want to use my experience in Congress and my foreign language skills to play a key role in strengthening international relations and continue making a positive impact on my community.