Moderator: Ronald Blackburn-Moreno, President, ASPIRA Association, Inc (Washington, DC)
Johanna López, Orange County Public School Teacher of the Year (Orlando, FL)    
Betty Medina Lichtenstein, Executive Director, Enlace de Familias Inc. (Holyoke, MA)
Cristina Pacione-Zayas, Director of Policy, Latino Policy Forum, Erikson Institute (Chicago, IL)



Johanna López


Betty Medina



Ronald Blackburn-Moreno has been President and CEO of the ASPIRA Association since 1994. Prior to joining ASPIRA, Mr. Blackburn-Moreno worked at the College Board and the Quality Education for the Minorities Network in Washington, DC. Before coming to Washington in 1990 from Puerto Rico, he served as Assistant to the President of the Ana G. Méndez University, Director of Development of the 11-campus University of Puerto Rico System, Associate Dean of Academic Affairs at Inter American University and taught of Political Science at Catholic University of P.R.

Ron is a member of the board and former Chair of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda (NHLA), is former Chair and current Treasurer of the Board of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) and is a board member of the National Puerto Rican Coalition. He has also served on corporate and non-profit advisory boards, such as the Wal-Mart External Advisory Board, the Coca Cola Council on Corporate School Partnerships, the NewsCorp/Fox Entertainment Advisory Board, and the Financial Services Roundtable Retirement Security Advisory Board and The Home Depot Advisory Board.

Johanna López

Betty Medina Lichtenstein Born, raised, and educated in New York City until she moved to Massachusetts 32 years ago. During her time in Massachusetts she has worked both in the medical and legal fields. In 1985 Betty successfully ran for a seat on Holyoke’s school committee representing Ward 2 making her the first Puerto Rican woman elected to public office in the state of Massachusetts.

She continued to realize her passion and commitment to public education when she became a founding member of the Holyoke Community Charter School opened in September 2005 with grades kindergarten through 8th grade for 702 students. She was a member of the schools Board of Trustees 2010. More...

Cristina Pacione-Zayas oversees policy and leadership initiatives at Erikson Institute. As Policy Director, she is charged with developing Erikson’s policy agenda that will influence the development of key early childhood policies leading to positive outcomes for children, families, and communities. Currently she oversees the Early Childhood Leadership Academy, programming and events that provide knowledgeable leaders with dynamic, collective learning experiences to enhance their capacity to influence early childhood policy. More...