Lifetime Achievement Awardee

Juana Bordas

Juana Bordas is President of Mestiza Leadership International–a company that focuses on leadership, diversity, and organizational change. The first Latina to serve as a faculty for the Center for Creative Leadership (CCL) she taught in the Leadership Development Program–the most highly utilized executive program in the world.

As founding President/ CEO of the National Hispana Leadership Institute, the only program in America that prepared Latinas for national leadership, Ms. Bordas forged partnerships with Harvard’s JFK School of Government and CCL to provide training for Hispanic women.

Juana was one of 50 leaders chosen by the Colorado Legislature to design the state’s future plan and elected by Colorado Business Magazine as one of 100 influential persons in the state. In 1977, she was a founder of Denver’s Mi Casa Women’s Center and served as executive director until 1986. Today, Mi Casa is recognized as a national model for women’s empowerment and is the largest Latino serving organization in Colorado. In 2001, she founded the Circle of Latina Leadership to train the next generation of Latina Leaders in Colorado–165 young women have completed the program. In 2015 Bordas launched Lideramos – The National Latino Leadership Alliance with a mission of enhancing and initiating Latino leadership programs across the US. For her extensive work with Latinas, Latina Style Magazine commended her for “Creating a nation of Latina Leaders.”

Juana has authored ground-breaking work in diversity and leadership. Salsa, Soul, and Spirit: Leadership for a Multicultural Age published by Berrett-Koehler won the International Latino Book Award for best leadership book. The Power of Latino Leadership by Berrett-Koehler was awarded the Nautilus Award for best indigenous book. Her contributions include: “Passion and Power: Finding Personal Purpose”–essay in Reflections on Leadership (John Wiley & Sons) and “Latino Leadership: Building a Diverse and Humane Society” published by the Journal for Leadership Studies. In 2015 she was a contributor the NY Times best seller, Peter Drucker’s Five Most Important Questions.

Juana served as advisor to Harvard’s Hispanic Journal on Public Policy and the Kellogg National Fellows Program. She was vice president of the Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership Board and was a trustee of the International Leadership Association.

A dynamic speaker and trainer, Ms. Bordas weaves leadership, diversity, and community building into a multicultural tapestry. Her awards include: The Wise Woman Award from The National Center for Women’s Policy Studies; A Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame Inductee; Denver Business Journal 2003 Outstanding Women in Business; Spellman College’s Center for Leadership 2006 Leadership Legacy award; and Denver’s 2008 Martin Luther King Jr. Business Responsibility Award

A former Peace Corps volunteer, she received the Franklin Williams Award from the US Peace Corps for her commitment to advancing communities of color. The Denver Post and the Colorado Women’s Foundation recognized her as The 2009 Colorado Unique Woman of the Year. Juana was born in Nicaragua, her life work is reflective of the many contributions immigrants have made and continue to make to the US and our world.

Saturday Plenary at ILA’s 21st Annual Global Conference in Ottawa 2019