U.S.-Mexico Foundation

Mexican American Leadership Initiative (MALI)



The Mexican American Leadership Initiative (MALI) of The U.S.-Mexico Foundation was founded in 2010 and is based on the belief that Americans of Mexican heritage are in a unique position to engage with Mexico’s civil society. Americans of Mexican heritage have a particular role to play in encouraging broad support and engagement by U.S. society, leaders and institutions in partnering with Mexico at every level for the benefit of both countries. These individuals have achieved positions of influence in American society and continue to advance in many areas. Through the MALI program, we intend to foster systemic engagement on the part of Mexican American leaders with Mexico and on issues affecting the U.S. relationship with Mexico.

The MALI provides a mechanism for Mexican Americans to extend their influence to shape how American society relates to Mexico and assist Mexican civil society organizations in their efforts to improve conditions in their country.  This society-to-society initiative encourages American society more generally, and institutions and individuals more specifically, to embrace co-responsibility with Mexico in facing the challenges shared by the two countries.  The depth of these challenges and the level of misinformation both in the U.S. and in Mexico regarding the other country’s perspective and views make this initiative timely and viable.

A deeper partnership contributes to strengthening Mexican society and enhancing opportunities for the Mexican people – especially its youth – to the benefit of both our countries. The Leadership Initiative works toward this end through the organized involvement of a strategic American constituency – that of Mexican American leaders.

The Mexican-American Leadership Initiative today has a leadership council comprised of more than 60 Mexican American leaders located in over 5 U.S. cities, and has initiated its signature P2P program, through which Mexican American leaders in the U.S. engage in meaningful dialogue and work with communities in Mexico, with a particular focus on strengthening Mexican society, and empowering communities to participate actively in their own community development.

All of our efforts to create broad partnerships share the single aim of improving conditions in Mexico.

The MALI is led by a Council comprised of Mexican American leaders from across the United States and shares the U.S.–Mexico Foundation’s fundamental objective of helping to strengthen Mexican civil society. Toward this end, the MALI mobilizes support for projects and organizations in Mexico targeted at helping at-risk youth and supporting distressed communities, in particular. In advancing its programs, the MALI is strengthened by the encouragement of numerous U.S. and Mexican officials, including U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who continues to champion the importance of diaspora philanthropic partnerships.



Past MALI meetings and events:


The U.S.-Mexico Foundation is grateful to the following MALI Founders:

Arturo Carmona
Carlos Arce
Charles Kamasaki
David R. Ayón
Dina Siegel Vann
Fernando Guerra
George Pla
Gil Cedillo
Henry G. Cisneros
Janet Rogozinski
Janice Enright
Jim Polsfut
John C. Guerra Jr.
Jonathan C. Hamilton
José H. Villarreal
Joshua Taylor & Sofía Longoria– Taylor

Juan Andrade
Louis Escareno
Luis A. Viada
María Echaveste
Martha H. Smith
Mickey Ibarra
Mónica Lozano
Mónica Talan
Noe Hinojosa Jr.
Patricia Gándara
Phillip Rodríguez
Raúl Hinojosa
Robert Valdez
Sid Mohn
Víctor Arias


MALI encourages Mexican Americans leaders as well as all citizens from both Mexico and the United States to engage in its purpose and programs. Specifically, the MALI invites those who would like to answer its call-to-action to:

  • Join the USMF email list to remain apprised be aware of MALI’s work. 
  • Become one of the MALI’s first 100 Founding Members with a contribution of $500 or more.
  • Advocate - write Write or speak on MALI’s purpose on behalf of the USMF in newspapers, journals, civic clubs, and conferences.
  • Organize a group of Mexican Americans leaders in your community for the purpose of engaging through the USMF with specific communities in Mexico. USMF staff is at your disposal to assist in coordinating such meetings.

For additional information or to join MALI, please write to us at claudia.vazquez@usmexicofound.org


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