Who We Are

Executive Director

Jessica Gonzalez-Rojas
Executive Director

Jessica González-Rojas is the Executive Director at the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, the only national reproductive justice organization that specifically works to advance reproductive health and rights for Latinas. She has been a leader in progressive movements for over 15 years.  Jessica is successfully forging connections between reproductive health, gender, immigration, LGBTQ liberation, labor and Latino civil rights, breaking down barriers between movements and building a strong Latina grassroots presence.

Jessica is a strong voice for Latinas and a regular presence in national and local media outlets.  She was honored by El Diario/La Prensa, the nation’s oldest and largest Spanish-language newspaper in the United States, as one of 2009’s “Mujeres Destacadas” (Women of Honor).  She is a regular contributor to El Diario/La Prensa, RH Reality Check and Huffington Post on pressing reproductive health issues in the Latina community, as well as a regular media voice in local and national outlets such as MSNBC’s Melissa Harris Perry Show, News Nation, National Public Radio, the Bill Moyers Show, the Daily Beast,  the Boston Globe, The New York Times and Fox News Latino.  Jessica was honored in Latina Magazine as one of “10 Most Inspiring Latina Activists” and by Cosmo for Latinas as a “Fun, Fearless Latina” in 2014, was recognized on Cosmopolitan’s “2013 Power List” in the October 2013 issue, has been named one of “13 Women of Color to Watch in 2013” by the Center for American Progress and was honored as a “Champion for Choice” by the National Council of Jewish Women.

Jessica frequently speaks about the National Latina Institute’s work at national conferences, and provides policy expertise including testimony at congressional briefings.  She worked with Lake Research Partners and the Reproductive Health Technologies Project in conducting groundbreaking opinion research, which has proven that old stereotypes about what's important to Latino voters are wrong and that unraveled assumptions about the way Latino families view sexual health issues.  Jessica provided content for the groundbreaking publication, “Reproductive Justice Briefing Book: A Primer on Reproductive Justice and Social Change”, contributed an NLIRH publication in the anthology, Readings for Diversity and Social Justice, 2nd Edition (Routledge Press, 2010) and served as an Advisory Member for the publication of Latina/o Sexualities: Probing Powers, Passions, Practices, and Policies (Rutgers University Press, 2010).

Jessica is a long-time leader in community and electoral politics. She was elected to the New York State Democratic Committee for the 39th Assembly District from 2002-2006, representing the diverse communities of Jackson Heights, Corona, Elmhurst and Woodside.   She has received proclamations from the New York State Senate, New York State Assembly and the New York City Council for local and national leadership.  She also served as a community liaison in two district offices of Congresswoman Nydia M. Velázquez.

Jessica has held leadership roles in numerous local and national organizations that promotes social justice advocacy.  For 11 years, she served on the Board of Directors of New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE), a New York City-based non-profit whose mission is to ensure that immigrants can build social, political and economic power.   She is a featured expert on the Women’s Media Center SheSource and an alumnus of their Progressive Women’s Voices program, in addition to serving as an Advisory Member for several organizations and coalitions, including Law Students for Reproductive Justice (LSRJ), Raising Women’s Voices and the We Belong Together Campaign. She has also served as a board member for Medical Students for Choice and the Latina Political Action Committee (LPAC).

Jessica is an Adjunct Professor of Latino and Latin American Studies at the City University of New York’s City College and has taught courses on reproductive rights, gender and sexuality.  Jessica holds a Masters degree in Public Administration from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, with a concentration in Public and Nonprofit Management and Public Policy. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Relations from Boston University, where she graduated cum laude, and completed a certificate program from the Institute for Not-for-Profit Management at Columbia University’s Graduate School of Business.