María Teresa Kumar

Education:B.A, University of California, Davis
M.A., John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University

María Teresa Kumar is the founding president and CEO of Voto Latino. Under her leadership, Voto Latino has registered over a quarter million voters.

Kumar was born in Bogota, Colombia, in 1974, emigrating to the United States with her family when she was four years old and growing up in Sonoma, California. She received a Bachelor of Arts in international relations from the University of California, Davis and a master's degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. Between degrees, she worked as a legislative aide for congressman and Democratic Caucus chair Vic Fazio. In 2004, she co-founded Voto Latino, an advocacy group whose initial mission was to increase voter registration among Latinos in the U.S. and whose focus now includes civic engagement, issue advocacy and leadership development.

Kumar is a guest analyst on NPR and PBS, a panelist on Bill Maher’s HBO show and an opinion writer for national publications. She serves on the national boards of EMILY’s List, Planned Parenthood Federation and the Latino Leaders Network. In 2010, Kumar received an Emmy nomination in the Outstanding News Discussion and Analysis category for the MSNBC television special, Beyond Borderlines.