Paloma Garcia-Lopez

Associate Director of the Institute for Latino Studies

Paloma Garcia-Lopez is the associate director of the Institute for Latino Studies at the University of Notre Dame. In her role, Garcia-Lopez manages and oversees all of the activities and staff of the institute. Garcia-Lopez focuses on enhancing annual programming, special events, communications, fundraising, and budgeting. She is a central figure in the development of a strategic plan to support scholarly initiatives in Latino Studies as a key component of Notre Dame’s academic mission.  At the College of Arts and Letters level, she serves as a Diversity Catalyst. Paloma Garcia-Lopez was awarded the inaugural Presidential Achievement Award for her contributions in advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion at Notre Dame in 2022.

Paloma brings to Notre Dame a fifteen year track record of success in nonprofit management,  fundraising, and executive coaching of leaders of community benefit organizations. Prior to her position at the university, Paloma served as the inaugural executive director of the Maker Education Initiative, where she launched the national organization at the Clinton Global Initiative-America conference, established the board of directors, secured multi-year corporate and foundation support, and executed four national programs impacting 100,000 educators annually. She worked closely with the founder of MakerMedia to realize his vision as part of President Obama's Education to Innovate Campaign.

Preceding her work at Makered, Garcia-Lopez served as director of the Posse Foundation site in Washington, D.C., a national college access and leadership development organization recognized by President Obama and the Catalogue for Philanthropy. She started her career in nonprofit management as the development director of Future Leaders of America, Inc., the country's premier Latino youth leadership organization. She has extensive experience consulting and training nonprofit boards and executive directors in best practices for sustainability.

Paloma coauthored Learning to Teach For Social Justice, published by Teachers College Press-Columbia University, with Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond and Jennifer French, in 2002. At the time, she was a credentialed social studies teacher in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Currently, Paloma serves on the board of the Community Science Workshop Network, a STEAM organization assisting low-income families across the state of California. Additionally, she serves on the board of Future Leaders of America - East Bay Chapter, as well as on the board of the Chicago-based Coalition for Spiritual and Public Leadership. In 2021, she joined the Advisory Council of the Indiana chapter of Proteus, Inc.

Garcia-Lopez is a graduate of Stanford University and the Stanford Graduate School of Education. Paloma is married to Dr. Lopez, a Neurologist, and has three children, Joaquin ND '27, Mia, and Melody.

Phone: (574) 631-4881
Office: Bond Hall 313