News Release

Baraya selected again to participate in U.S. Senate Hispanic Leadership Summit

Contact: Rene Abadie


Aristides Baraya

     HAMMOND --  Aristides R. Baraya, director of the Latin American Business and Development Initiative in Southeastern Louisiana University’s College of Business, has been nominated for the second consecutive year to participate in the National Hispanic Leadership Summit March 20-21 in Washington, DC.

     Baraya, an instructor in general business, was nominated by U.S. Senator David Vitter. He is one of 350 individuals nominated by U.S. senators to participate in the summit.

     The summit is designed to bring together government leaders and prominent Latinos from across the country to discuss proposals designed to secure the nation’s competitiveness in a global economy and to address issues such as education, job creation, health care accessibility and affordability and immigration reform. The summit is chaired by U.S. Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison of Texas and is co-sponsored with international businesses and national Hispanic organizations.

     “Last year’s summit was a great opportunity to meet with other Hispanics and with Senate leaders to discuss quality of life, economic issues and other concerns that affect the Hispanic community,” said Baraya. “The Hispanic community is a growing economic force in south Louisiana. This summit allows us to make valuable contacts and gain the latest information from government and private resources to enhance relationships with the Hispanic community and with Latin American nations to improve economic development for the state of Louisiana.”

     “Dr. Baraya’s selection for this prestigious nomination is truly an honor. It recognizes his and Southeastern’s ongoing efforts to enhance cross-cultural learning for students and our community,” said College of Business Dean Randy Settoon.

     A native of Colombia, Baraya came to the United States in 1994. He joined the Southeastern faculty in 1998 as an instructor in foreign languages and literatures and later was appointed to his positions with the College of Business. In 2003 he was awarded Southeastern’s President’s Award for Excellence in Faculty Service, one of the highest recognitions the university bestows on faculty members.

     Baraya – who was named one of Louisiana’s top 100 successful Hispanic citizens in 2003 by “Vocero News of New Orleans” – is chairman of the board of directors of the Hispanic Business Resources and Technology Center, a partnership involving Southeastern, Jefferson Parish School Board, Catholic Charities of New Orleans and the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Louisiana. He also serves on the newly created Hispanic Forum of Greater New Orleans, a coalition of approximately 35 organizations and agencies working together to better address the specific needs of the Latino community.

     His work at Southeastern has included developing cooperative agreements between Southeastern and the Inter-American Development Bank, the Organization of American States, as well as agreements with governmental agencies and civic organizations in Costa Rica, Panama, El Salvador, Colombia, and Honduras. In recent years, he has organized several programs at Southeastern for Latin American entrepreneurs and business professionals designed to promote mutual economic development, making the university a growing institution in international education and training.

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