New Paltz Alum Becomes First Director-in-Residence of the Hispanic Leadership Institute

Claudia Hernandez Tarquino was recommended for the position by the HLI Application Review Committee, HLI Executive Director and University at Albany President Havidán Rodríguez, and SUNY Senior Vice Chancellor for Strategic Initiatives and Chief Diversity Officer Teresa Miller. Photo courtesy of SUNY.

SUNY New Paltz Alumna, Claudia Hernandez Tarquino, will now serve as the first Director-in-Residence of the Hispanic Leadership Institute (HLI), according to SUNY Chancellor Jim Malatras’ announcement on Wednesday, Jan. 27. 

The SUNY HLI was launched in 2017 and helps to support the success of Hispanic and Latinx leaders at the SUNY President and President’s Cabinet-level like Provosts, Chief Financial Officers and Chief Business Officers. Since its founding, the HLI has graduated 32 SUNY Fellows. Hernandez Tarquino graduated from the HLI Fellows in 2019.

“In 1948, SUNY was created, in part, to be inclusive in providing a high-quality post-secondary for all — despite a student’s background or their heritage at a time when there was pervasive discrimination — and it is that mission that drives us still today — not just for our students, but also our faculty and staff,” Chancellor Malatras said in a press release. “There is more work to be done, and the Hispanic Leadership Institute will help SUNY achieve its mission. Today we congratulate Claudia Hernandez Tarquino, who is well-suited for this role and believes in the value of HLI as an investment in our future leaders.” 

As Director-in-Residence, Hernandez Tarquino will meet regularly with HLI Fellows, provide guidance and feedback on the Fellows’ projects, and lead training sessions, such as a one-day seminar for prospective HLI applicants. She will also serve on the HLI Steering Committee. 

“I am both honored and humbled by this appointment to serve as the first HLI Director-in-Residence,” Hernandez Tarquino said in a press release. “This is an extraordinary opportunity for me to contribute to the development and implementation of the HLI and this new role while developing hands-on leadership experience to strengthen my professional growth and to help others find their path as leaders.”

Before her newfound HLI position, Hernandez Tarquino served as the education abroad and financial manager for the Office of Global Affairs (OGA) at SUNY. As the education abroad financial manager, Hernandez Tarquino served as the liaison between SUNY and the offices of International Education. She also administered the OGA’s budget.   

Before starting her career at SUNY, she received a Bachelor of Arts in international relations with a concentration in Latin America from SUNY New Paltz; a Graduate degree in finance from the Universidad del Rosario, School of Economics; and a J.D. from the Universidad Externado de Colombia, School of Law. She then went on to practice law for eight years in Colombia. 

“My parents were both college-educated and instilled in me the importance of life-long learning,” Hernandez Tarquino said. “It is what brought me from Colombia, after earning my law degree, to the States and to SUNY. And it is what drives me to help others achieve greater knowledge to pursue their goals.”

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Nikki Donohue is a fourth-year double major in history and journalism. This is her sixth semester with The Oracle. She has worked as a News Copy Editor and an Assistant Copy Editor.