Alisa Valdés Gandy, Executive Director & Founder
A New Mexico native, Alisa is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling Latina author of more than a dozen commercial women’s fiction, young adult novels, and memoirs. She was named one of the 25 Most Influential Hispanics in the United States, by Time magazine; one of the 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the United States by Hispanic Business magazine twice.Latina magazine named Alisa a Woman of the Year. Entertainment Weekly hailed her as a Breakout Literary Star, and CNN named her among its 20 Most Influential US Hispanics.
Alisa has a Master of Science in Journalism from Columbia University, is a Pulitzer-nominated, award-winning former staff writer for the Boston Globe and Los Angeles Times, was named the top essayist in the nation by SUNMAG, and is an Emmy-winning former TV reporter for WHDH-TV. Alisa has written and sold pilot scripts to Nickelodeon, NBC, and Lifetime Television. She holds a Bachelor of Science from Berklee College of Music, in saxophone performance. She is currently enrolled in the online Certificate in Nonprofit Management program at the Univ. of Texas, Austin.
Alisa is the Founder and Acting Director of The Latina Alliance for Literacy Advancement, and Director of Development with the New Mexico Volunteer Network. Alisa also serves on the national advisory board of OurStories for the Fusion Network, a joint venture between Univision and ABC.
Alisa is a mom to Alexander, 12, and stepmom to Mayeila, 9; Christian, 7; and Lilianna, 5. She and her husband, NMVN Executive Director Michael Gandy, live in New Mexico. Alisa and her son are proud regular volunteers with Rio Grande Food Project.