June 29, 2021

Cárdenas Statement on Smithsonian Announcement of the National Museum of the American Latino Board of Trustees

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Smithsonian Institution announced the Board of Trustees of the National Museum of the American Latino. Earlier this year, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC) voted to appoint Congressman Tony Cárdenas (CA-29) to the Board after he helped shepherd the National Museum of the American Latino Act through the House of Representatives during the 116th Congress. 

“I’m excited to welcome this diverse group of amazing Latino leaders to the Latino Museum Board of Trustees,” said Congressman Cárdenas. “At the heart of the American story are Latino stories, those of individuals, many of them immigrants, who encompass an unwavering spirit of perseverance and positive contributions. Each of these trustees bring the energy and experience needed to build one of the greatest museums this country has ever known. Soon, millions visiting Washington D.C. will be able to live, breathe and see how Latina and Latino stories are fundamental to the complete history of America. We have a lot of fun hard work ahead of us; we’re going to make the dream of a long overdue National Latino Museum a reality. Adelante!” 

The legislation creating the National Museum of the American Latino at the Smithsonian calls for the Smithsonian’s Board of Regents to name a 19-member board of trustees within six months. The board includes 13 citizens, the Smithsonian Secretary and Under Secretary for Museums and Culture, the chair of the Smithsonian Latino Center advisory board, one member of the Regents and two members of Congress. 

The members appointed to the board of trustees are: 

  • Lonnie G. Bunch III, Secretary of the Smithsonian (ex officio);
  • Kevin Gover, the Smithsonian’s Under Secretary for Museums and Culture (ex officio);
  • Margarita Paláu-Hernández, chair of the Smithsonian National Latino Board;
  • Franklin D. Raines, member of the Smithsonian Board of Regents;
  • Raul A. Anaya, president of business banking for Bank of America;
  • José Andrés, restaurateur; chef and owner of ThinkFoodGroup; creator of World Central Kitchen;
  • Emilio Estefan, Grammy Award-winning musician, songwriter and TV producer; co-founder of the Gloria Estefan Foundation;
  • Rick Gomez, executive vice president and chief food and beverage officer for Target Corp;
  • Alberto Ibargüen, president and CEO of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; former publisher of the Miami Herald and El Nuevo Herald;
  • Eva Longoria, award-winning actor and producer; founder of the Eva Longoria Foundation;
  • Dr. J. Mario Molina, principal of JM Molina Investments; former CEO of Molina Healthcare;
  • Henry R. Muñoz III, chairman emeritus of Muñoz & Co.;
  • José Luis Prado, executive advisor partner with Wind Point Partners; former president of Quaker Oats North America;
  • Alfredo Rivera, president of Coca-Cola North America
  • Sofía Vergara, Emmy-nominated actress, television producer, presenter and model;
  • Rep. Tony Cárdenas (D-CA), appointed by the Congressional Hispanic Caucus; and 
  • Rep. Jaime Herrera Beutler (R-WA), appointed by the Congressional Hispanic Conference. 

The board of trustees of the National Museum of the American Latino advises the Board of Regents and makes recommendations on the location, planning, design and construction of the museum; helps with fundraising; acquires artifacts; and provides for the maintenance of the collections.