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HLI | Subiendo

Speaker Bios

Francisco CigarroaFrancisco G. Cigarroa, M.D.

Chancellor, The University of Texas System

Dr. Cigarroa was appointed the 10th chancellor of The University of Texas System by the UT System Board of Regents on Jan. 9, 2009. A nationally renowned pediatric and transplant surgeon, Dr. Cigarroa served as president of the UT Health Science Center at San Antonio from 2000 until his appointment as chancellor. A native of Laredo, Dr. Cigarroa earned a bachelor’s degree from Yale in 1979 and received his medical degree with highest honors from UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas in 1983. He has completed 12 years of postgraduate training. He was chief resident at Harvard’s teaching hospital, Massachusetts General in Boston, and completed a fellowship at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore.

In 2003, President George W. Bush appointed him to serve as a member of the President’s Committee on the National Medal of Science. He also serves as a member of the Secretary’s Council on Public Health Preparedness, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness.

Trey Martinez FischerTrey Martinez Fischer

Texas State Representative

Representative Trey Martinez Fischer, a member of an emerging group of Latino leaders in the United States, The Houston Chronicle and the San Francisco Chronicle have recently named him one of the “20 Latino political rising stars of 2012,” placing him among those under 55, “who just might change the face of American politics over the next two decades.”

Representative Martinez Fischer is the chairman of the Mexican American Legislative Caucus, the oldest and largest Latino legislative caucus in the United States. Recently, Chairman Martinez Fischer has led the Mexican American Legislative Caucus in two victorious court battles that will be remembered in Texas civil rights history. The redistricting and voter/photo identification litigation will have a tremendous effect on the future of Texas and Chairman Martinez Fischer has testified before federal courts on both of these issues. 

Most recently, he was named the “Bull of the Brazos”, an award given by Texas Monthly magazine recognizing him among the best in the legislature. He has also been recognized as a “Legislative Star” by the Texas Classroom Teachers Association.

Tom Gilligan

Thomas Gilligan

Dean, McCombs School of Business

Thomas W. Gilligan is the tenth dean of the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin, one of the largest and most distinguished business schools in the country.  Prior to his appointment at the McCombs School of Business, Dr. Gilligan held several key administrative roles at the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California. 

Dr. Gilligan holds the Centennial Chair in Business Education Leadership.  He received his B.A. in 1979 at the University of Oklahoma and his Ph.D. in Economics at Washington University in 1984.  He taught Economics at the California Institute of Technology (1984-1987) and during his tenure at USC he held visiting appointments at Stanford University (1989-1990 and 1994) and Northwestern University (1995-1996). He was the recipient of a National Fellowship at the Hoover Institution of War and Peace and was a staff economist at the Council of Economic Advisers in the White House. He also served in the United States Air Force from 1972-1976.

Israel HernandezIsrael Hernandez, Jr.

Former Assistant Secretary of Commerce now at TPG Capital

Israel has recently joined the TPG Capital, a private investment firm managing in excess of $50 billion in assets. He brings more than 15 years of international experience in business, market development, and public policy. Israel is the Chief of Staff to founding partner, James G. Coulter.

Israel most recently was a Director at the Brunswick Group.  He focused on international corporate and financial communications, corporate reputation, and crisis management. Prior to Brunswick Mr. Hernandez was the Assistant Secretary of Commerce for International Trade and Director General of the U.S. and Foreign Commercial Service. He was responsible for designing strategies and specific plans to help U.S. companies enter international markets and commerce and investment issues. In this capacity, he led a global network of more than 1,500 trade specialists in 260 offices spread across 78 countries. Prior to the Department of Commerce, he worked at The White House from 2001-2005 as Deputy Assistant to the President where he helped oversee strategic planning, political affairs, public liaison, and intergovernmental affairs efforts. 

He holds B.A. in philosophy and political science from the University of Texas and an M.P.A. from the George Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M with a focus on business. In 2009, he served on the President’s Advisory Committee for Trade Policy and Negotiations in the Executive Office of the President for the United States.

Marialena Rivera

Co-founder, B.R.I.D.G.E.

Marialena Rivera received her BBA in Business Honors and Marketing and a BA in Government from the University of Texas at Austin. She taught middle school in the Bronx, New York and went on to earn a Masters of Science in Teaching from Pace University and a Masters in Public Policy from the University of California Berkeley. She is currently at UC Berkeley as a Doctoral Student in the Graduate School of Education. Her research interests include education policy and the politics of public finance.

In 2007, Ms. Rivera, along with three fellow business school alumnae, created Building Roads for Individuals Dedicated to Growth in Education (B.R.I.D.G.E.), a program to improve learning opportunities for children of migrant farm working families in the Rio Grande Valley. B.R.I.D.G.E won the Social Entrepreneurship Competition hosted by UT’s LBJ School of Public Affairs and implemented its first Summer of Learning (SOL) Program in July 2010. In 2011, B.R.I.D.G.E. was a semi-finalist in the Teach for America Pitch Competition, a semi-finalist in the Pitch for Change Competition at Harvard’s Social Enterprise Conference, and recognized for a second time at the Clinton Global Initiative University Conference.

Marc RodriguezMarc Rodriguez

Chairman, United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce

Marc A. Rodriguez has worked on state legislative issues for the last nine consecutive state legislative sessions and has a professional history of representing entities with elected and appointed boards.  Mr. Rodriguez has coordinated efforts with volunteers, private consultants, representatives of governmental agencies, elected officials and staff.

As a professional advocate, Mr. Rodriguez has specific expertise to address public policy issues including utility regulation, infrastructure, urban affairs and natural resources. Clients also benefit from his role as a political advisor and strategist.  He is presently the owner of a government relations consulting firm and President of TOPE Development, a real estate company.

Sara Martinez TuckerSara Martinez Tucker

Former U.S. Under Secretary of Education

Sara Martinez Tucker serves on the Boards of Directors of American Electric Power, a Fortune 200 company that is the nation’s largest transmitter and among the leading generators of electric power, and Xerox, a Fortune 125 company that is the world’s leading enterprise for business process and document management. She also serves on Wal-Mart’s External Advisory Council, Teach for America’s Board of Directors and the Board of Trustees at the University of Notre Dame.

She most recently served as the U. S. Under Secretary of Education, the nation’s top higher education official. Tucker’s accomplishments included the development and implementation of a joint initiative with the U.S. Treasury Department to make nearly $70 billion in 2008-09 federal student loans available during the nation’s financial crisis, an effort described by the Wall Street Journal as “one bright spot in a season of crises and bailouts,” and an innovative new website,, which received Computerworld’s Laureate Medal for exceptional use of technology to better society.

Tucker worked for nine years as the CEO and president of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF), where she raised $280 million to advance Hispanic college education. Prior to joining HSF in 1997, Tucker spent 16 years at AT&T, becoming the first Latina to reach the company’s executive level.

Born and raised in Laredo, Texas, she earned her bachelor’s degree with honors in journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. She worked for two years as a reporter for the San Antonio Express before returning to the University of Texas to earn her master’s in business administration with high honors.

Laura SanchezLaura D. Sanchez

Managing Director, Goldman, Sachs & Co.

Laura is a Private Wealth Advisor. She serves on the West Coast Operating Committee and is also a member of the Private Wealth Management Leadership Council. Laura joined Goldman Sachs in 1994. She was named Managing Director in 2007. Prior to joining the firm, Laura worked at Procter and Gamble. Laura serves on the advisory board of the Stanford Women’s Initiative Network and Subiendo: The Academy for Rising Leaders at the University of Texas at Austin. She previously served on the boards of the Stanford Graduate School of Business Management, the Stanford Business School Alumni Association, GirlVentures, the San Francisco YMCA Association, and the Okizu Foundation. Laura earned a BBA in Marketing, while in the Business Honors Program, from the University of Texas in 1989 and an MBA from the Stanford Graduate School of Business in 1994. She lives in San Francisco with her sons, Mateo and Gabriel.