Elizabeth Vaquera, Director

Elizabeth Vaquera

Elizabeth Vaquera, who received her doctorate in sociology from the University of Pennsylvania., comes to GW from the University of South Florida where she was a tenured associate professor of sociology. Her research focuses on the wellbeing of vulnerable and diverse groups, and the character and importance of race and ethnic identity in outcomes such as education, health, and emotional and social wellbeing. Her work has been published in leading peer-reviewed journals, and she is the co-author of several books, the most recent of which, Education and Immigration, examines the educational experiences of immigrants and their children living in the U.S. Vaquera is the recipient of several federal grants by the National Science Foundation and the National Institutes of Health.




Louis Caldera, Senior Fellow

Louis Caldera

Louis Caldera, a West Point graduate who holds law and business degrees from Harvard University, brings to GW experience that includes higher education teaching and administration from both the California State University System and the University of New Mexico, where he served as president and professor of law. He also has extensive public sector expertise in elected and appointed positions through his service as a California legislator and as Secretary of the Army in the Clinton administration, and as an assistant to the president and director of the White House Military Office in the Obama administration. His accolades include receiving the American Heritage Award from the American Immigration Council and the Distinguished Civilian Service Award from the Department of Defense. 




Gil Cisneros, Founder

Gil Cisneros

George Washington University alumnus Gilbert Cisneros, BA ’94, is the president and co-founder of The Gilbert & Jacki Cisneros Foundation, which works to cultivate a community that supports Hispanic student education. At GW, he has demonstrated a deep commitment to the university through service and philanthropy. In 2015, he and his wife Jacki donated an extraordinary gift to create the GW Cisneros Hispanic Leadership Institute. Their largesse also led to the establishment of the Cisneros Scholarship Fund to benefit undergraduate students, as well as support for the Yellow Ribbon Scholarship for military veterans. An avid GW basketball fan, Gil Cisneros created the first Buff and Blue Challenge, encouraging GW supporters to join him in the Making History: The Campaign for GW, by supporting GW student-athletes.

Gil Cisneros is co-chair of the Making History: The Campaign for GW and a member of the campaign’s Steering Committee. He also serves the university as a member of the Columbian College National Council for Arts and Sciences and the GW Athletics Board.