Sonia M. Pérez is Chief Operating Officer at UnidosUS, the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States.
Ms. Pérez is one of three leaders in UnidosUS’s CEO Cabinet and is responsible for aligning UnidosUS’s core work in programs, policy, and Affiliate engagement with communications and fundraising efforts to advance UnidosUS’s mission to create opportunities for Latinos. In addition, she supports major organizational relationships with philanthropic and corporate partners and oversees organizational strategy development and board governance.
During her career at UnidosUS, Ms. Pérez has conducted and published research on Latino social policy and demographic issues, guided the development of key programs, and has provided nonprofit management support to Hispanic community-based organizations on the U.S. mainland and in Puerto Rico. She also established UnidosUS’s Northeast Regional Office in New York and, prior to that, led UnidosUS’s work in Puerto Rico, launching the KIDS COUNT – Puerto Rico project, which published the first Databook on children in Puerto Rico. Her work has been cited in a range of English- and Spanish-language media. She has led several organization-wide strategic and business planning efforts, including an initiative to strengthen partnerships with UnidosUS’s nearly 300 community-based Affiliate organizations and recent work to organize UnidosUS’s leadership structure. Most recently, Ms. Pérez has guided development of the organization’s strategic direction in the areas of narrative, scale and leadership, pillars which frame UnidosUS’s major areas of impact.
Prior to her roles at UnidosUS, Ms. Pérez directed a program for public housing residents in Puerto Rico and worked for Citi Community Affairs and at CIGNA Retirement Services.
Ms. Pérez was a participant in the initial Seminar for Nonprofit Leaders on Business and Financial Responsibility sponsored by PwC and the Wharton School; was a Rockwood Leadership Institute Yearlong Fellow; and was a Minority Scholar at the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She also served on the 2018 Amex NGen Selection Committee; on the board of State Voices (2016-2018); and on the Independent Sector’s Committee on Networks and Member Engagement (2014-2016). She is currently a member of the Coca-Cola Hispanic Advisory Council.
Ms. Pérez holds a master's degree in public administration from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University and a bachelor's degree in English and American literature from Brown University. She is based in New York.
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