Portrait of María López De León. First Peoples Fund Board Member.


María López De León held the position of President, CEO, and board member at the National Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC). Her career in this capacity continued until her retirement in January 2024. Recognizing her exceptional contributions to the arts, President Obama appointed Ms. De León to serve on the National Council on the Arts, a role she continues to fulfill. In acknowledgment of her influential presence in the nonprofit arts sector, Ms. De León was honored as one of the nation's Fifty Most Powerful and Influential People in the Nonprofit Arts in 2012 and 2013.

With a remarkable twenty-five-year tenure at NALAC, Ms. De León dedicated almost seven years to her role as President and CEO. She played a pivotal role in shaping and executing NALAC's programs and strategic initiatives throughout her tenure. In addition to these accomplishments, Ms. De León oversaw the continuous development of twenty editions of the renowned annual Leadership Institute and ten convenings of the Advocacy Leadership Institute in Washington, DC. She also played a pivotal role in co-founding the Intercultural Leadership Institute, facilitating the convening of eight NALAC National Conferences, and organizing twenty-nine Regional Arts Training Workshops nationwide.

Ms. De León is an arts administrator and cultural practitioner dedicated to fortifying communities through the arts. With extensive experience working alongside Latino artists and arts organizations, she actively participates in various arts and culture policy panels. Ms. De León is a sought-after speaker and advocate for the arts, cultural equity, and social and racial justice.

Her commitment extends to her roles on several influential boards and councils, including the National Council on the Arts; First Peoples Fund; National Association of Performing Arts Professionals; The Lewis Prize for Music; National Hispanic Leadership Agenda

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