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Dr. Lisette Garcia spent eight years revitalizing the mission and efforts of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility. Photo: Penn State
Dr. Lisette Garcia spent eight years revitalizing the mission and efforts of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility. Photo: Penn State

Dr. Lisette Garcia is the new VP of diversity, inclusion and belonging at Penn State

The national leader on Latino corporate representation started in her new position on Nov. 23.

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Penn State University has added one of the nation’s foremost experts on Latino corporate inclusion to its leadership ranks.

Dr. Lisette Garcia, the former executive vice president and chief operating officer of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) based in Washington D.C., will be the university’s new vice president of diversity, inclusion and belonging.

HACR is the nation’s foremost organization working for the advancement of Latinos in corporate America.

When Garcia joined eight years ago, it was as the only member of its research institute. In her time there, the team expanded to three full-time employees, began producing publications and presentations on its own research into Latino representation in corporate America, and upgraded the institute’s Corporate Inclusion Index.

The latter is now seen as a vital resource for tracking the advancement of Latinos and Hispanics in corporate America nationwide.

In title, Garcia also rose from just the director of HACR’s research institute to the entire organization’s senior vice president and chief operating officer. In the beginning of 2020, she added executive vice president of HACR to her resume.

“During her time at HACR, she transformed the HACR Research Institute into a best-in-class initiative, turned the HACR Corporate Inclusion Index into nationally-recognized accountability survey, and was a major catalyst in the organization's growth and transformation,” wrote HACR President and CEO Cid Wilson on García’s departure. “Lisette leaves a lasting legacy at HACR of major accomplishments.”

As Penn State’s new VP of diversity, inclusion and belonging, Garcia will partner with the school’s human resources department to foster an environment that is more inclusive, diverse, and feels more belonging to students of all backgrounds.

That change will be enacted through a diverse approach to talent acquisition and management at the university, and making sure the values of inclusion and equity are integrated in programs and policies school-wide.

While ‘La Doctora of Diversity’ — as Wilson refers to Garcia — is no longer at HACR, she expressed excitement about being able to still conduct the same work, but in different ways into the future.

“I am leaving, but won't be far away and hope to be able to partner in new ways with each of you!” wrote Garcia.

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