Vanessa Cárdenas is an experienced leader, organizer, political strategist and policy expert on immigration, political disinformation, climate change, women’s political empowerment and Latino voters.
Prior to becoming Executive Director of America’s Voice, Vanessa led a social impact firm that specialized in government relations, advocacy, and communications. She started her career as a teacher assistant for the Arlington Public Schools in Northern Virginia. Since then, she has had the privilege of working with some of the most innovative progressive organizations including the Biden for President Campaign, EMILY’s List, the Center for American Progress, LULAC, the World Wildlife Fund, and others. Before launching her firm she was the National Coalitions Director at the Biden for President campaign. At EMILY’s List she took on various senior roles, first as Communications Director, and then as Senior Director for Outreach where she helped launch and implement the “Run to Win” program, a national effort to get more Democratic women to run for office. She also led “Climático” at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) where she organized US Latino and Latin American leaders to support efforts towards a global climate agreement. At the Center for American Progress (CAP) Vanessa held various roles including Director for Ethnic Media and later Vice President for Progress 2050, a project focused on race and equity and the implications of demographic change.
Vanessa’s first dream job in DC was with the National Immigration Forum under the leadership of Frank Sharry where she joined local and national allies in the struggle for a fair and just immigration system.
Vanessa came to the United States when she was 14 years old from her native Cochabamba, Bolivia, and is the first in her family to go to college. She lives in Northern Virginia with her family.