Cristina Jiménez is Executive Director & Co-founder of United We Dream (UWD), the largest immigrant youth-led organization in the country. Originally from Ecuador, Cristina came to the U.S. with her family at the age of 13, attending high school and college as an undocumented student. She has been organizing in immigrant communities for over a decade and was part of UWD’s campaign team that led to the historic victory of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in 2012 that protects close to a million young immigrants from deportation. Under Cristina’s leadership UWD has grown to a powerful network of 57 affiliates in 25 states with over 400,000 members.
On October 2017, Cristina was a named a MacArthur Fellow by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation for her work as a social justice organizer. Cristina is also one of Forbes’s 2014 “30 under 30 in Law and Policy;” and was named one of “40 under 40 Young Leaders Who are Solving Problems of Today and Tomorrow” by the Chronicle of Philanthropy; one of “50 Fearless Women” by Cosmopolitan; and one of 25 disruptive leaders who are working to close the racial opportunity gap by Living Cities. She was awarded an Honorary Doctorate Degree in Letters & Humanities by Wesleyan University. She was also awarded the Creative Change Award.
She has appeared in hundreds of media outlets including CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times, the LA Times, ABC, NPR, The Huffington Post, Univision, Telemundo, and La Opinion. She proudly serves on the Board of Directors of the National Committee for Responsible Philanthropy (NCRP), Hazen Foundation, and Make the Road Action Fund.
Cristina co-founded the New York State Youth Leadership Council, the Dream Mentorship Program at Queens College, was an immigration policy analyst for the Drum Major Institute for Public Policy and an immigrant rights organizer at Make the Road New York. Cristina holds a Masters degree in Public Administration & Public Policy from the School of Public of Affairs at Baruch College, CUNY and graduated Cum Laude with a B.A. in Political Science and Business from Queens College, CUNY.