Vivian Huelgo serves as Chief Programs Officer at Esperanza United. Vivian is a key member of executive management at Esperanza United, articulating and implementing the strategic vision and leadership of the agency as she creates and supports a high-performing culture with staff in the Twin Cities area, Washington DC and across the country, working on direct service, intervention and prevention, policy and training and technical assistance. Founded more than forty years ago, Esperanza United is the largest organization working across the United States to mobilize Latin@s to end gender-based violence.
Vivian has worked at the intersection of law and gender-based violence for over twenty-five years. In 2010, she joined the American Bar Association (ABA) Commission on Domestic & Sexual Violence as Chief Counsel, working intensively on the organization’s human rights, domestic and sexual violence, and human trafficking initiatives. For over a decade, Vivian developed and established a broad, inclusive vision for the Commission’s work, sponsoring critical policy, increasing its online presence, and doubling funding for training and technical assistance to lawyers nationally. Vivian started her legal career as a prosecutor in the New York County District Attorney’s Office and then served as Director of Legal Services at Safe Horizon, Inc. the nation’s largest crime victim’s agency. She has lectured for the US Department of State, Coalition against Trafficking, and the ABA globally on Gender Based Violence, Human Trafficking, and Access to Justice.
In 2015, Vivian was chosen as a selected fellow of Move to End Violence, a program of the NoVo Foundation. She is also a recipient of the Flor de Maga Award for Women in the Legal Profession from the Puerto Rican Bar Association. Vivian is a graduate of Fordham University School of Law where she served as an Adjunct Associate Professor of Law and received both the Andrew A. Rivera Alumni Achievement Award and the Louis J. Lefkowitz Public Service Award. Vivian was born in Brooklyn, raised in the City of New York and is now mom to twins living in the greater Washington, DC area and Medellin, Colombia.