Dr. Damary M. Bonilla-Rodriguez is a national leading authority on leadership development, especially as it pertains to diversity and inclusion. She delivers keynote addresses and presentations drawing upon her experience from roles in the non-profit, private, and government sectors, as well as her doctoral research. Her research about Latina leadership in the United States has served as the foundation for events, conference sessions, publications, and content development — to address the urgency of leadership development for a fast-growing population and create a pipeline of diverse leaders.
Dr. Bonilla-Rodriguez holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish and Social Work from the College of New Rochelle where she received the College President’s Medal, graduated with Departmental Honors, and was awarded the Sigma Delta Pi Spanish Award. She also holds a Master of Science degree in Organizational Communications and a Specialized Certification in Corporate Communications, both from the College of New Rochelle. Personal endeavors of overcoming statistics and accessing higher education, led her to earn a Doctorate in Education focusing on Executive Leadership from St. John Fisher College. She self-identifies as a lifelong learner and recently completed the Harwood Institute’s Coaching program.
To change the political and leadership landscape for Latinos, Dr. Bonilla-Rodriguez ran for State Representative in the 189th District of Pennsylvania in the 2016 election cycle where she became the 1st Hispanic to make a State ballot in Pike and Monroe Counties. In November 2019, she became the 1st Hispanic elected as School Board Director in the East Stroudsburg Area School District where she served a 4 year term, Chaired the Education committee during her full tenure. She represented the ESASD on the Colonial Intermediate Unit 20 Board where she was the 1st Hispanic and person of color appointed and served as Vice President for 3 years. Passionate about supporting professional organizations, she is a Board Member of the ACLU of Pennsylvania, Latina VIDA, Latinas on the Plaza, and an Advisory Board member for several organizations including: The Board of Hispanic Caucus Chairs, Monroe County Children and Youth where she Chairs the Education committee and the League of Women Voters PA DEI steering committee.
Further accomplishments include serving as a Gubernatorial appointee to Governor Tom Wolf’s Latino Commission where she served for 6 years and Chaired the Statewide Education committee, serving on the Brodhead Watershed Association Board, serving as Vice President of Professional Development for Prospanica New York, serving on the Pennsylvania Department of Education Equity Task Force where she Chaired the Advocacy subcommittee and more efforts relating to social justice and equity at the local, state and national levels.
Dr. Bonilla-Rodriguez was recognized as a 2014 Coors Light Lideres finalist and is the recipient of numerous awards including a proclamation from the NYS Assembly, Proud to Be Latina Soy Poderosa award, GACLA recognition award, SISGI Beyond Good Ideas Excellence in Nonprofit Leadership award, and Latino Diamante Comunidad. Her published written accomplishments include the books Gender, Race and Ethnicity in the Workplace and Today’s Inspired Latina (Volume II), as well as contributing to the Huffington Post and being featured by several media outlets including NBC Latino, Chief Writing Wolf, and the Empowered Latinas series.
While, she is proud of her many accomplishments, she highlights her greatest as being the mother of thirteen-year-old twin boys, Caleb and Joshua. She resides in Pennsylvania with her boys and husband Robert. Her favorite quote is: “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants” (Newton).