Lydia Camarillo Bio

Lydia Camarillo serves as the vice president of Southwest Voter Registration Education Project (SVREP), the largest and oldest national non-profit, nonpartisan organization of its kind, based out of San Antonio, Texas. Lydia plays a key role in developing and executing strategies for SVREP’s nonpartisan mobilization efforts. Under Lydia’s and SVREP’s President, the Latino participation in the democratic process has almost tripled, from 1994 to today, from 5.4 million Latinos registered to vote to 14.3 million.

In September of 1999, President Clinton and Vice President Gore appointed Lydia to serve as Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the 2000 Democratic National Convention. At the convention, the presumptive nominee garnered the third-largest political bounce at 24 points in the last 50 years. Lydia was responsible for a $55 million budget, a staff of 350, 1,000 production team members and more than 10,000 volunteers. She also worked on the Gore Campaign as an official surrogate after her assignment as CEO of the Convention. Lydia served as political and business consultant and served on the 2001 Villaraigosa Campaign. Lydia served from 1994 to 1999 as Executive Director of SVREP. Before joining SVREP she served as MALDEF’s National Leadership Director from 1989 to 1994. She worked for the Latino Issues Forum, Monterey Bay Girl Scouts as field organizer and Watsonville Library before she joined MALDEF.

Lydia serves as Chair of the Texas Latino Redistricting Task Force and on the board of directors for MALDEF as 2nd Vice Chair. She has served on numerous boards and commissions including the National Board of the Girls Scouts of America (1996-1999), San Antonio Planned Parenthood Board (1997 -1999), Los Angeles Based City Project (2000 -2012; she served as board chair from 2002 to 2008), Latino Issues Forum, Monterey County United Way Allocations Committee, Santa Cruz County Affirmative Action Commission, Salinas Affirmative Actions Committee and the California Task Force on Hispanics and the Civil Service assigned to work on Latino hiring and promotion for the State of California. Lydia served on the San Antonio Ethics Commission and the Base Realignment Commission (BARC) in 1995, she served as one of Committee Chairs. Lydia served on two corporate advisory boards including the State Farm Company Advisory Committee on Latinos. From 1981 to 1986, Lydia served on the Northern and Central California Immigrant Rights Coalitions.

Lydia was featured in the "Movers and Shakers" of Elections and Campaigns Magazine, Working Women Magazine, People en Español, Latina Magazine, Latina Style Magazine, the California Journal, Hispanic Magazine, Hispanic Business Magazine, The Los Angeles Times and has been interviewed by hundreds of media organizations across the United States and around the world.

Lydia has been named one of the 10 most influential Latinas in the 2000 September issue of Latina Magazine. She has twice been named one of the “100 Influential" Latinos in the United States in Hispanic Business Magazine -- in 2000 and in 1996. On February 22, 2004, Lydia was presented with the Dallas Morning News Distinguished Leaders series.

Lydia has a bachelor's degree in sociology from the University of California at Santa Cruz. Mother of two sons, Miguel and Antonio, Lydia is a published poet and speaks widely on the Latino Vote, leadership and politics.