Catalina Velasquez is a Gender, Women, and Sexuality Studies PhD student at University of Washington and the President and founder of Consult Catalina, a premier strategic policy, communications and diversity management firm. Fluent in English, Spanish, and proficient in Italian, Catalina is an alumnus of Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service, where she majored in International Politics: International Law, Norms, & Institutions with a Certificate in Women and Gender Studies.
Catalina has extended consulting and speaking engagement services for over a decade, and she recently finished her latest contracts with End Rape on Campus managing all their external facing communications and with People for the American Way Foundation leading their youth arm: Young People For (YP4). In her position at YP4, she restructured their training curriculum to meet the most cutting edge needs of an interconnected world and global economy for community education.
Among the organizations that Catalina has worked and consulted on strategic messaging and policy are the National Latina Institute for Reproductive Health, D.C. Mayor’s Office of Community Affairs, the AFL-CIO, and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute.
Catalina is a recipient of the President’s Volunteer Award in 2007 from the President’s Council on Service and Civic Participation and was bestowed in 2008 the title of Ambassador for Peace by the Universal Peace Federation and the Inter-religious and International Federation for World Peace. Catalina is the first transgender immigrant Latina appointed as a Commissioner for the D.C. Office of Latino Affairs from December 2013 to June 2017. Catalina was hand picked by the 2016 Bernie Sanders Presidential Campaign to join the Vermont U.S. Senator's LGBT Policy team.
Recently, Catalina was named one of RollingStone’s “16 Young Americans Shaping the 2016 Election” and one of Mitu’s “Young Latinos that are Leaving a Footprint in Politics.”
Catalina also serves on the Board of Directors of Megaphone Strategies a strategic communication national nonprofit. She continues to serve in the Board of Inclusv a diversity employment initiative to diversify the political and policy fields. Catalina also helped create the Queer Undocumented Immigrant Project (QUIP) at United We DREAM, the largest run and led immigrant youth organization in the United States.