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Sylvia Puente

President & CEO

Pronouns: she/her

Sylvia Puente is a public policy expert, a civic and Latino community leader who is the President & CEO of the Latino Policy Forum, a nonprofit that works for equity, justice, and economic prosperity on behalf of Latinos in Chicago and Illinois through public-policy advocacy and analysis on issues including education, housing, and immigration. Nearly 15 years at the Forum, Puente has grown the organization into a central voice on Latino issues and has established herself as a thought leader in the arena. 

Puente was selected by Governor JB Pritzker to serve on his transition team as part of the Educational Success Committee. She has been appointed to the Restore, Reinvest, Renew Board and the State Housing Task Force. She was appointed by previous Illinois governors to the Illinois Early Learning Council, on which she still serves, and the Illinois Education Funding Advisory Board. She is also a board director of Advance Illinois, a public policy agency working to improve education in the state. 

Puente is frequently cited as an expert on Latino issues and has published numerous reports and articles that articulate their vital role in society. She is a recipient of the Ohtli Award, Mexico’s highest recognition of those serving the Mexican community outside of Mexico. She received an honorary Ph.D.’s from Governor State University in 2023 and Roosevelt University in 2021 for her social justice work. Sylvia has also received the 2023 Career Achievement Award from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, highlighting alums who have served as significant leaders in the public, private, or nonprofit sectors, creating meaningful positive change within their institution and society. She has also been recognized by Hispanic Business Magazine as one of the “100 Most Influential Hispanics in the U.S.”.