The Aspen Institute Latinos and Society Program Welcomes New Advisory Board Chair, Francisco J. Sanchez

I look forward to leveraging the momentum of Aspen Latinos and exploring novel approaches and partnerships that meet our current moment and position U.S. Latinos to thrive and lead in the new economy.” – Francisco J. Sanchez 

Contact: Lizette Olmos Godfrey
The Aspen Institute

Washington, DC, January 25, 2024– Former U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Trade and former Assistant Secretary for Aviation and International Affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation, Francisco J. Sanchez, has been named Chair of the Aspen Latinos and Society Advisory Board. Mr. Sanchez has a long and distinguished career in the public and private sectors that has been marked by innovative and impactful policies that fostered economic development opportunities at the national and international level.

Mr. Sanchez succeeds Ambassador Gaddi Vasquez, former U.S. Ambassador and former Peace Corps Director. During his five-year term as Chair, Ambassador Vasquez played a pivotal role in expanding the Advisory Board to include a myriad of trailblazing leaders across different business sectors. Under Ambassador Vasquez’s guidance, Aspen Latinos achieved heightened national recognition as a platform for narrative change and collective action. His efforts were instrumental in catalyzing the partnership with McKinsey & Company and the creation of the Aspen Latinos signature Summit, Advancing Economic Mobility. Ambassador Vasquez will remain on the board and continue to lend his expertise.

“Francisco’s exceptional knowledge and experience in international affairs and business will undoubtedly continue to help elevate Aspen Latinos to the main global stage,” said Elliot Gerson, Executive Vice President of Policy and Public Programs at the Aspen Institute. “His commitment to building a global ecosystem of change makers that seek to shift the narrative of U.S. Latinos upward will usher in an exciting new chapter for the program.”

Mr. Sanchez, co-head of the firm’s International Trade Practice, is a partner in Holland & Knight’s Tampa and Washington, D.C. offices with a focus on trade policy, regulation, and the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) process including mitigation measures. Prior to joining Holland & Knight, Mr. Sanchez was the chairman and CEO of CNS Global Advisors, providing strategic advice to companies and governments looking to expand in or resolve issues in foreign markets, including the U.S.

Mr. Sanchez served as the U.S. Under Secretary of Commerce for Trade until 2013, a role former President Barack Obama nominated him to in 2009. As Under Secretary, Mr. Sanchez led the International Trade Administration (ITA) in its efforts to improve the global business environment by helping U.S. businesses compete abroad. As one of the architects of President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI), with the goal of doubling U.S. exports by the end of 2014, Mr. Sanchez directed programs and policies that promote and protect the competitiveness of American businesses.

During the Clinton Administration, Mr. Sanchez served as the assistant secretary for aviation and international affairs at the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT). Prior to the DOT role, he served in the White House as a special assistant to former President Bill Clinton, and chief of staff to the Special Envoy to the Americas.

“Aspen Institute is a premier institution that deepens knowledge networks and shapes national discussions around critical issues, such as accelerating inclusive growth and advancing economic mobility for underserved communities. I’m honored to join a distinguished line of Aspen Latinos Advisory Board Chairs that have collectively moved the needle in the discussion around U.S. Latino prosperity and have paved a path towards a more equitable and prosperous society for all Americans,” said Sanchez.


The Aspen Institute is a global nonprofit organization whose purpose is to ignite human potential to build understanding and create new possibilities for a better world. Founded in 1949, the Institute drives change through dialogue, leadership, and action to help solve society’s greatest challenges. It is headquartered in Washington, DC and has a campus in Aspen, Colorado, as well as an international network of partners. For more information, visit

The Aspen Institute founded the Latinos and Society Program in 2015 to identify and promote solutions that foster greater opportunity for American Latinos, and enable a more prosperous, inclusive America. Through proprietary research, partnerships with the private and public sectors, high-level gatherings, and community-building initiatives, Aspen Latinos ignites Latino growth and resiliency for the benefit of all Americans. To learn more, visit