It is difficult to make a list of the leading and most influential Latinas in politics and government in America without naming Maria Teresa Kumar, a lady who considers Latinos to be the “new builders” and “makers” of America. As president and CEO of Voto Latino, a citizen media organization that prides itself on its agenda to transform the United States by valuing what it considers “the innate leadership of the Latinos,” Teresa was able to ensure that the participation of Latin American voters in the theaters of war increased during the 2008 presidential election.
Moreover, there is definitely more beyond who the woman is. Let’s take a look at her biography while we focus on her husband and other interesting facts from her life.
Maria Teresa Kumar’s Biography
Although Maria Teresa Kumar now lives in Washington DC, she is from Sonoma, California. Although we cannot yet confirm her date of birth exactly, there is reason to believe that she was born in 1974 in Bogota, Colombia. Maria spent most of her childhood in California, where she was raised by her parents – a Colombian mother and an American father – in a bicultural home, which had a massive impact on the woman she became.
Lady Kumar is proud to be a proud immigrant daughter. As the story tells, her father moved with his family to the United States of America when she was only four years old; Maria and her mother became citizens of the country through naturalization five years later. Although details of her upbringing are difficult to know, we can say that she received her earliest formal education at a Catholic school. Many years later (1992) Maria became a student at the University of California, Davis (UCDAVIS), where she finally received her Bachelor of Arts degree in International Affairs and Economics in 1996. In 1999, she moved to the Harvard Kennedy School, where she earned a Master of Public Policy (MPP) in Economics and Technology in 2001.
In the meantime, after graduating from UCDAVIS, she served as Senior Legislative Aide in the U.S. House of Representatives from August 1997 to August 1999. After graduating from the Kennedy School, she moved to The Advisory Board Company, where she served as Deputy Director from January 2002 to January 2003. The following month (February 2003) she became Regional Director for LawMedia until November 2004 when she became Founding President and CEO of Voto Latino.
This is not all that one can know about Maria Teresa Kumar’s career. She is widely recognized as the Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, and many people probably met her through her media work on MSNBC, which earned her a nomination for the Emmy Award. Since 2009, Kumar has been working as a political commentator for the media. From January 2015 to February 2016, she also hosted the establishment’s “Changing America” web show on msnbc.com.
In addition to the Emmy nomination she received, Maria’s professional achievements have earned her a number of other prestigious awards and recognitions over the years. Just as she has received the Legacy Award and the Transforming America Award, Maria appears on a handful of coveted lists including the 20 most influential Latinos under 40, the 10 most influential women in America, the 100 most influential Hispanics in business, and more.
It is no secret that the founding president and CEO of Voto Latino was the wife of Raj Kumar – the co-founder and president of Devex, a company often described as a media platform for the global development community. The man has been associated with various institutions and is considered an expert in foreign aid policy. He graduated from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and attended the Harvard Kennedy School, as did his wife.
Although the New Jersey-born American now lives with his wife in Washington, DC, he is said to have spent part of his childhood in Kerala, India, and his work is said to have taken him to 50 countries. Maria Teresa Kumar and her husband welcomed their first child in 2012 and named it Lucia Mercedes Kumar. The second, Eduardo, arrived a few years later.
Other Interesting Facts About Maria Teresa
1. Maria is a polyglot career woman, she speaks fluent English, French, and Spanish.
2. She hopes that Voto Latino will play an important role in the birth of the first Latin American President of the United States.
3. She has been associated with many organizations, including the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Aspen Institute Task Force on Learning and the Internet, Emily’s List, and others