Phyllis is the Executive Director of Conexión and a lifelong Latina activist and social entrepreneur committed to developing and advancing Latino leadership. Ms. Barajas’ unprecedented career spans industries and roles. She served as the first Latina assistant dean for human resources at Harvard Kennedy School of Government. She is a former deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Education appointed by President Clinton.
In 2005, she founded Conexión to help shape the next generation of Latino leaders. In 2009, she was recognized by the Boston Business Journal as one of The 20 on the Move. For four consecutive years, El Planeta Newspaper has acknolwedged her as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the Latino community in Massachusetts. The Boston Chapter of the National Society of Hispanic MBAs recognized Ms. Barajas and Conexión with a Leadership Award in 2009.
Most recently, the Association of Latinos in Finance and Accounting (ALPFA) honored her visionary leadership by granting her the Excellence in Contribution to the Latino Community Award. Growing up in Omaha, Nebraska, the daughter of Mexican immigrants, she sees helping others as a legacy handed to her from her father as part of the payback for the opportunities America represented to him.