Candidate Statements 2018

Candidate Statements for HBA-DC Elections 2018


Below you will find the statements of candidates running for Officer and Board Member positions.  Elections will take place on January 18, 2018 at 6:00 p.m. at Acadiana, 901 New York Ave NW.  RSVP here.






Dear HBA-DC Members:


I am asking for your support and vote to be President-Elect in 2018. Since I joined the organization in 2009, I have been active in many leadership roles with HBA-DC. I have served as chair of the Social and Special Events Committee, an At Large board member, Vice President for External Affairs, Vice President for Membership, and Vice President for Internal Affairs. Over my years of service, I have gained a thorough understanding of the role of the President of HBA-DC, and of the many components of HBA-DC.

I have led and supported the planning of several events including the Equal Justice Awards, networking happy hours, the annual "La Familia BBQ," the annual holiday party, professional development events, and assisted in the 2014 HNBA/HBADC Annual Convention Planning. With this experience, I hope to continue HBA-DC’s important work.

My vision for my Presidency is threefold:

1. To strengthen and focus on our core work -- career growth and development for our members at all stages of their legal careers;

2. To advocate on issues important to the local Latino legal and greater community; and,

3. To update our website and communication platforms to better serve our members and for mobile compatibility.

I thank you in advance for your support and look forward to continuing to serve HBA-DC.


Leila Levi





Dear HBA-DC members:

I am seeking re-election as a HBA-DC board member and seek to serve as Vice President of External Affairs. For the past three years, I have served on the HBA-DC board and have gained valuable insight into the organization. As Vice President of Internal Affairs, I have addressed the various procedural and administrative work that helps keep the organization running, and I led the implementation of the HBA-DC’s membership survey and the strategic planning initiative with the American Bar Association (“ABA”), both of which I look forward to continuing to help implement next year.

As Vice President of Membership, I have taken extensive steps to recruit and retain new and existing members, leading to a significant increase in membership and dues for HBA-DC that reflects one of the largest membership increases in HBA-DC history. I also designed and implemented the new lifetime membership category, re-initiated our LinkedIn site, helped increase the frequency of spotlighting members on HBA-DC’s website, recognized new and renewing members in our newsletters, and implemented numerous steps to ensure future growth of our membership.

As I have grown in these roles, I have come to understand the HBA-DC’s role as an important resource for Hispanic Lawyers and the greater Hispanic community. If elected as Vice President of External Affairs, I will work diligently and continue HBA-DC’s existing partnerships, along with cultivating new relationships that will help grow this organization.

I look forward to the opportunity to continue to serve HBA-DC and build upon its long history of excellence.



Adam Acosta






Dear HBA-DC Members:

I seek your support to serve as Vice-President of Internal Affairs for HBA-DC. I am running because I would like to extend my commitment to our organization and the great work we do.

I joined HBA-DC in 2011 and quickly learned that the opportunity to serve the organization is one of the most rewarding benefits of membership. I was active in the Legislative and Policy Issues Committee and became Vice-Chair and then Chair of that committee in 2013 and 2014. I served on the HBA-DC Board as Secretary in 2015 and 2016 and I was honored to serve as the organization’s Vice-President of External Affairs last year. Throughout my tenure, I have been thoroughly impressed and motivated by the quality and dedication of our members. I am proud of the work HBA-DC has done and continues to do to promote the advancement of Hispanic attorneys and the greater Hispanic community. If elected to the position of Vice-President of Internal Affairs, I promise to work diligently to carry on that mission, helping our organization grow and our members succeed.

Thank you in advance for your support.



Ruben F. Reyna





Dear HBA-DC Members:

I write to express my interest in serving as the HBA-DC’s Vice President for Membership in 2018. I joined the organization in 2011, shortly after I moved to Washington, DC. I have served on the organization’s endorsements committee and as a mentor in the organization’s mentorship program.

I’d like to serve in HBA-DC’s leadership because I have great respect for the organization. I recently completed a term as Regional President of Region V of the Hispanic National Bar Association and, in that capacity, had the privilege of working closely with the HBA-DC and its leadership. I strongly believe in the HBA-DC’s mission of advancing and developing Latinos in the legal profession. If elected, I would aim to build on the work of my predecessors by focusing on increasing member enrollment and ensuring existing member satisfaction.

I am currently an attorney at Eversheds Sutherland (US) LLP and serve on the firm’s Diversity and Inclusion and Hiring Committees. Prior to joining the firm in 2010, I was a New York City public school teacher.

I look forward to the opportunity to serve the HBA-DC. Thank you in advance for your support.


Ray Ramirez






Dear HBA-DC Members:

My name is Erik Burgos and I am seeking re-election as Treasurer of the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia (HBA-DC). I have had the privilege of serving as Treasurer since 2011 and I would welcome the opportunity to be re-elected. As a board member, I will continue to identify business partnerships with the HBA-DC through my professional affiliations and work closely with the leadership on identifying other local area organizations to financially support the mission of the HBA-DC. Additionally, I will work closely with the HBA-DC leadership to provide networking opportunities for our law students which will lead to fostering business relationships and potential employment opportunities.

Apart from my position as Treasurer with the HBA-DC, I have held board of director positions with CentroNia, a D.C. based multicultural learning center (At-Large Board Member 2016 through Present), the Long Island Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (Treasurer 1997 through 2000), Touro Law Center (At-Large Board Member from 1998 through 2000) and from 2009 through 2013 was a Special Professor of Law at Hofstra Law Center teaching state and local tax law.



Erik J. Burgos






Dear fellow HBA-DC members,

I am running for the Secretary position on the 2018 HBA-DC Board.

I joined the HBA-DC as a student member during my first year of law school in 2012. Since joining, I have stayed active in the organization. I joined the Legislative and Policy Committee in 2013 and actively contributed to the group with legislative research. In 2016, I had the privilege of serving as the Co-Chair of the Legislative and Policy Committee. With the assistance of the Legislative and Policy Committee members and my co-chair, we drafted several official statements addressing legislative issues affecting Latinos in our community. Last year, I had the opportunity to serve as Secretary to the HBA-DC Board and I seek to continue in that role in 2018.

As Secretary of the HBA-DC Board for 2018, I hope to continue my service to the Latino community and contributions to the HBA-DC organization. I also hope to continue building ties to the local law schools to engage students, and further address local and national legislative issues that influence Latinos. With your support for my candidacy as Secretary, I will continue to dedicate my service to the community and ensure we achieve the HBA-DC's mission and principles.

Thank you for your time and consideration. I look forward meeting all of my HBA-DC colleagues and working together towards another successful year in 2018.



Jesus N. Saenz


BOARD OF DIRECTORS - AT LARGE (listed alphabetically)




Thank you for time and consideration in the 2018 HBA-DC Board Elections.


I am an Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Columbia, and have been an HBA-DC member since law school and a Board Member at Large for the past year. Several years ago, a mentor provided the following recommendation for joining organizations outside of work: “don’t just join several Bar Associations, instead, pick a few organizations that you care about, and actively participate in the organization to help achieve the organization’s goals.“ I quickly chose to contribute my time to the Hispanic Bar Association of DC and became a part of the communications committee. Beginning in 2017, I sought to continue my involvement by serving as a Board Member at Large, in particular, to continue focusing on promoting and furthering a cause that I find both important and fundamental to the legal field: diversity in the legal field. As an immigrant and a woman in the legal field, I have internalized these barriers and have made it one of my missions to take every opportunity to help increase diversity in the legal field through education, leadership, encouragement and mentorship of others, and through my involvement in HBA-DC. 


Therefore, I ask for your support and vote for a position as a Board Member at Large for 2018.



Andrea Coronado




Dear Members,

I humbly ask for your vote for the 2018 Board of Directors At Large position. I have been involved with the HBA-DC for four years, serving as 2015 Chair of the Professional Development Committee, a member of the 2016 & 2017 Equal Justice Awards Committees, and as 2016 & 2017 Board of Directors At Large member. During this time, I have worked hard to support our organization, presidents, presidents-elect, committees, and of course, our members.

Over the past three years, I worked closely with Presidents Ben Hernandez-Stern, Edgar Class and Juan Sempertegui to plan and host the 2015, 2016 & 2017 HBA-DC Career Fairs held at American University Washington College of Law. The career fairs have been outstanding successes. Law students and lateral attorney candidates submitted resumes which were distributed to employers prior to the event. At the 2017 Career Fair, 34 District of Columbia law firm, public interest and government employers participated, and candidates conveyed their education, legal experience, personal stories and distinguished themselves as excellent candidates.

In 2017, I served on the Equal Justice Awards (EJA) Committee for a second year. As one of three Co-Chairs of the Development Subcommittee, I helped contact and solicit potential sponsors as well as keep track of the status of the contacts, follow-ups, confirmed sponsors and amounts for this fundraiser that is critical to supporting the work of the HBA-DC. I was also one of three Co-Chairs of the Program Book Subcommittee, responsible for ensuring all sponsors were accurately credited with sponsorship level and received the promised name listing, logo and full-page ad benefits in the event Program Book, and including award and scholarship recipient photos, bios and information.

This past year also marked the first time I served as Affiliate Representative to the Hispanic National Bar Association (HNBA). In this capacity, I submitted regular reports of HBA-DC activities and upcoming events to the HNBA Board of Governors, with HBA-DC president approval. And, if the occasion arose that HBA-DC President Ben Hernandez-Stern could not participate in a HNBA Board of Governors meeting/call, I participated as his alternate, briefing the HNBA on our events and reporting back to President Hernandez-Stern and the HBA-DC Board.

Along with many others, I make it a point each year to review resumes with student members at the “Annual HBA-DC Resume Review Workshop.”

In sum, this involvement and experience will allow me to continue to assist in establishing HBA-DC policies and procedures, managing the affairs of the organization, advising the president on all association matters, and continuing to serve our members. I humbly ask for your vote, and thank you for your consideration.


Carlos A. Gutiérrez, Esq.



Dear HBA-DC Members,


In 2017, I served as Co-Chair of the Endorsements Committee of the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia (HBA), and humbly ask for your vote for At Large Director of HBA’s 2018 Board. I seek to serve as At Large Director to continue carrying out HBA’s mission to professionally advance Hispanic attorneys in the District.

My work as Co-Chair of HBA’s Endorsements Committee and as Chair of the Association of Hispanic Employees for Advancement and Development at the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ-AHEAD), have both prepared me to serve as At Large Director. DOJ AHEAD is an employee affinity group and its work is primarily done outside of work hours.

Serving as Co-Chair of HBA’s Endorsements Committee in 2017 has helped HBA increase the representation of Hispanics on the bench and on the Board of the D.C. Bar. HBA endorsed six candidates in 2017. At least three of those six endorsees are Hispanic. One of the three endorsees was then a judicial applicant; he has been sitting for several months as a Magistrate Judge in the Superior Court of D.C. The other two endorsees were running for positions on the Board of the D.C. Bar Association; they both were elected to their respective offices.

The six endorsements resulted in part from my Committee Co-Chair oversight duties. For example, my Co-Chair and I conducted or directed due diligence of endorsement applicants and, along with all Committee members, interviewed such applicants. My Co-Chair and I prepared and submitted to the Board reports on the Committee’s endorsement recommendations. Finally, my Co-Chair and I personally presented to the full HBA Board the Committee’s recommendations as to which applicants should receive HBA’s endorsement.

My work as Chair of DOJ-AHEAD included programming to help increase the representation of minorities within the pool of judicial applicants in D.C. For example, I reached out to the Judicial Nomination Committee (JNC) of D.C., the body that recommends nominations to the White House for Superior Court of D.C. judicial vacancies. With DOJ AHEAD as the sponsoring organization, the Executive Director and the Chair of the JNC both gave a presentation at DOJ to DOJ affinity organizations with the goal of increasing the diversity of judicial applicants.

I ask for your confidence and vote to elect me for an At Large Director position so that I may continue to have the honor of fulfilling HBA’s mission of advancing the careers of Hispanic attorneys in the District Columbia.




Carmen M. Banerjee



Dear fellow HBA-DC Members:

I humbly request your support to re-elect me to an At-Large Board of Directors position for the 2018 calendar year. My first year on the board was last year (2017), where I worked hard to support our organization, other board members, the committees, and, of course, all of you. I was specifically involved in spearheading the Evening With Kim Rivera event (general counsel of HP, Inc.); I was on the EJA fundraising committee; and I was the Board Liaison to, and active participant on, the Public Service Committee.

During my three-and-a-half years as a member of HBA-DC (and the past year as an At-Large Board Member), I have been inspired by our community and the work that we do for each other and the Latino community at large. That’s why, even before I was on the Board, I was active by helping to coordinate HBA-DC’s student reception, serving as a mentor in HBA-DC’s mentorship program, and attending a variety of HBA-DC events.

Personally, I am a seventh year litigation associate at Covington & Burling LLP and am originally from El Paso, Texas. I have called D.C. home since the end of 2012. I have long been dedicated to Latino/a advancement and community. In college and law school, I worked to advance Latino/a history at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, Latino/a rights at the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices, Latino/a policy as the co-editor-in-chief at the Harvard Latino Law Review, and Latino/a community as my law school’s Latino/a group social chair. At Covington, I am a member of the diversity committee, a member of the leadership team of the Latino/a affinity group, and a founding member of the firm’s working group on diversity speaker series. I was also selected as the firm’s representative for the Leadership Council for Legal Diversity’s (“LCLD”) Pathfinder program in 2016.

If selected to continue on the Board, I am committed to continuing to serve with dedication.

I sincerely thank you for your consideration.


Jaclyn E. Martínez Resly


Dear fellow HBA-DC Members:

My name is Maritza Perez and I humbly ask for your vote to serve as an At-Large Board Member of the HBA-DC Board of Directors. I believe I will be effective in this role because of my long-time commitment and passion for public service and serving the Latino community, and my substantive experiences as a community leader and policy expert.

I am currently a Legislative Staff Attorney at MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) in Washington, DC. I first joined HBA-DC in 2012 as a law student. In 2016, I began serving on the Communications Committee to help develop and distribute the weekly newsletter and help put together other public materials as required. Through my involvement in HBA-DC, I have benefited from incredible mentorship and an awesome network of Latino legal professionals. I want to continue HBA-DC’s great work and give back to an organization that has given me so much already; I know this organization will continue developing Latino lawyers and I want to help make that happen.

Specifically, I would like to work on the following:
• Join the Committee on Legislative and Policy Issues to help HBA-DC become more proactive in addressing local and federal legislative and policy issues facing our community.
• Support some of HBA-DC’s long-standing, excellent programing including the Latina Leadership Academy, the Judicial Internship Program, and the Judicial Council.
• Help HBA-DC host another successful Equal Justice Awards night because I have seen how valuable this event is in fostering and celebrating community.

I appreciate your consideration of my nomination and would truly be honored to serve the HBA-DC as an At-Large Board Member of the Board of Directors.


Maritza Perez 




Dear HBA-DC Members:

I am submitting this Candidate Statement to run for the 2018 Board of Directors of the Hispanic Bar Association of the District of Columbia (HBA-DC) as an At Large Board Member.

I have been a member of the HBA-DC for several years, including serving as a co-chair of the HBA-DC’s Student Affairs Committee (2015 and 2016) and as an At Large Board Member (2017). I have organized several HBA-DC events, including Fall Mentorship Receptions and Summer Law Students’ Receptions (including the accompanying résumé workshops), and have twice participated as the HBA-DC organizing liaison to the Robert E. Wone Judicial Clerkship and Internship Conference. In addition, I have enjoyed volunteering as a mentor, and have now visited almost all of the area law schools to introduce HBA-DC, and to raise awareness of HBA-DC's interest in mentoring, developing and advancing Hispanics in the legal profession, including law school students.

I have worked in several positions within the Office of the General Counsel at the U.S. Department of the Treasury over the last twenty-one years, and am currently the Assistant Chief Counsel (Tax and Trade) at Treasury's Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau. I have benefited in my career and my life from the mentoring and example of others, and I would like to give back by service to HBA-DC members and the DC-area Hispanic community.

I ask for your vote for an At Large Board Member position at the 2017 HBA-DC Annual Meeting.

Respectfully submitted,

Sandra Chavez Bellew



Dear HBA-DC Members:

I seek your support to serve on the 2018 Board of Directors as an At Large Board Member. The HBA-DC was the first organization to welcome me with open arms upon my arrival to the District as a new patent litigator at Finnegan LLP. And after almost three years of membership and seeing first-hand the impact that the HBA-DC has on our community, I am committed to joining our leadership and delivering on the organization’s promise to continue our forward progress.

Over the past several years, I have dedicated much of my time to supporting Hispanic law students across the county. As a member of the national organization (HNBA), I serve as a mentor to law students through the HNBA/Microsoft Intellectual Property Law Institute (IPLI). The IPLI program grants me the opportunity to serve as a role model and support system for students interested in IP law. The program’s goal is to expose students to the field, improve overall writing skills, and facilitate the transition into the practice of law (especially into IP law). I consistently seek to fulfill the first and third goals by keeping in touch with my mentees and offering advice and contact to others in the field. The HNBA’s Journal of Law and Policy underlies the second goal. This past Fall, I was honored to serve as the Journal’s Assistant Editor.

While I look forward to continuing my role with the HNBA, I am excited to begin a new chapter with the HBA-DC. If invited to the Board, I am confident that I can utilize my experience working with the HNBA to further serve our members here at home. I am excited to assist the leadership in any way I can, though I am keenly interested in expanding the pipeline for Hispanic representation in our law schools and in the legal field.

In sum, I ask for your vote to serve the organization as an At Large Board Member.


Jorge F. Gonzalez

Association Management Software Powered by YourMembership  ::  Legal