Alumna Highlight: Mary Ann Gomez Orta, MBA '02
"If you are thinking about grad school, stop thinking and do it."
Mary Ann Gomez Orta, MBA '02
President & Chief Executive Officer
Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute
Mary Ann grew up in a farm worker camp outside of Stockton. Her father came to the U.S. from Mexico in the Bracero program and her mother, of Mexican heritage, was born in Brownsville, Texas. Both parents were only able to complete their education through third grade and met working in the fields of Chico. As the eldest of five, Mary Ann's parents supported their pursuit of education and all siblings have undergraduate degrees with herself and one sister holding master’s degrees.
In high school, she was bused to Tracy High School and earned a scholarship to attend the University of the Pacific where she majored in Communications. Professionally, she has worked in public relations, marketing, advertising and public affairs and now she leads a national Hispanic non-profit – Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI), based in Washington, DC. This leadership development organization was founded by Members of Congress with a vision to advance the Hispanic community’s diversity of thought. She has been with CHLI since 2011 and is currently the Chair of the Board of Directors of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR) – a coalition of 15 national Hispanic organizations that advocates for Hispanic inclusion in Corporate America’s governance, procurement, philanthropy and employment.
Mary Ann was also awarded the Meritorious Service award at the 2020 Distinguished Alumni Awards