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Victoria Villalpando Sánchez (Harrison Fellow, 2011-2014) joined the Illinois Department of Human Rights in January. She serves as their new Director of Public Affairs and Public Information Officer. Previously, Victoria worked for Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton, where she oversaw her brand and executive presence across digital channels for three years. Using her "Civic Joy'' strategy, she organically grew the Lt. Governor's cross-platform following by 138% and achieved over 19.4 million impressions.

Prior to her work in government, Victoria worked for the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute (USHLI), a national non-profit, and managed logistics for their annual national conference. Under her leadership, the USHLI conference generated the highest revenue and attendance among the organization's programs from 2013-2019. Additionally, she spearheaded all internal and external communication, developed new programs and campaigns, and engaged program stakeholders. Before her departure, she took an active role in several statewide Census initiatives and chaired Forefront's Illinois Count Me in 2020 Communications Subcommittee.

Although Victoria is a proud Illinoisian, she immigrated from Mexico and lived as an undocumented immigrant for nearly 27 years. This experience gave her a deep understanding of how race/ethnicity, national origin, immigration status, socioeconomic status, ability, and gender identity affect access and privilege. Despite experiencing discrimination early in life, she knows Illinois is the best place to raise a family and believes that thoughtful policies can support marginalized communities across our state.

Victoria holds a Master's Degree in Public Policy and Administration from Northwestern University and a Bachelor's Degree in Human Services from National Louis University.

To learn more about Victoria, watch her interview with NBC 5 Political Reporter Mary Ann Ahern for Hispanic Heritage Month.

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National Louis University



Victoria Villalpando Sánchez, Director of Public Affairs & Public Information Officer, Illinois Department of Human Rights