Cecilia Orellana-Rojas, PhD

Cecilia Orellana-Rojas, PhDCecilia Orellana-Rojas serves as the National Diversity Council (NDC) vice president of strategy and research. In this role, she provides a clear direction for the NDC leadership by planning, defining, articulating and managing the ongoing execution of the organization’s strategic goals. In addition, she offers leadership for the implementation of innovative and high quality research initiatives in the area of diversity and inclusion. She is the creator of the DiversityFIRST™ Toolkit, a unique diversity reference portal and research consolidator, and the DiversityFIRST™ Certification Program curriculum, which prepares professionals for successful careers in the D&I space.

Ms. Orellana-Rojas brings 15 years of experience at AT&T, where she started as a manager in diversity marketing. She spent most of her career at the telecommunications giant as associate director and lead consultant of corporate diversity. In this role, she offered support in the formulation, implementation and direction of the company’s D&I strategy. She developed and implemented initiatives for diversity communications, metrics and training. As a business partner, she worked with clients to ensure that AT&T’s business practices, processes and procedures incorporated and supported workforce inclusion. She also provided consulting in all aspects of workforce diversity.

Prior to her corporate role, Ms. Orellana-Rojas worked as a journalist and later taught in academia for more than 10 years in the area of Spanish and sociology, with particular emphasis on U.S. race relations, Latin America, women’s studies and research methods.

Ms. Orellana-Rojas is a passionate advocate for diversity. She was instrumental in the launch of the Texas Diversity Council and served as the first president of the San Antonio Advisory Board. As a founding member of the Texas Hispanic/Latino Summit, she took a leadership role in establishing the mission of the summit as a venue for Latino voices within the Texas Leadership and Diversity Conference. She has been recognized numerous times with the Diversity Champion Award and Diversity Leadership Award for her commitment and dedication to diversity business practices in the state of Texas.

A native of Chile, Ms. Orellana-Rojas earned a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Texas at Austin and a master’s degree in Latin American studies from the University of New Mexico. She graduated Summa Cum Laude with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of North Dakota. She resides in San Antonio, Texas, with her husband, Henry, and their son, Rodrigo.