With close to a decade of experience working in advocacy and government affairs, Francella has devoted her career to building movements that address issues of empowerment and progressive causes. She helps drive strategy and execute high-level decision making for long-term advocacy campaigns related to just representation in our national institutions. She also serves as the lead Washington representative for large membership organizations and foundations on issues of immigrant inclusion, women’s health equity, and the digital divide by representing them on Capitol Hill to the Administration, and among peer organizations.
Before joining the Raben Group, Francella served in the Donor Relations Department of the California Community Foundation, where she launched a streamlined system for the implementation of their $3 million annual scholarship program. Immediately prior, she worked with Dr. Harry Pachón at the Tomás Rivera Policy Institute where in 2010 she conducted a research project traveling to the communities of color hardest hit by the Great Recession. Francella began her career leading the development office of the LULAC National Educational Service Centers. In this role, she managed relationships and secured funding from Fortune 500 companies and federal government agencies for this national civil rights organization.
Much of Francella’s current work is focused on building the coalitions and networks that secure power for communities of color and underrepresented groups. In 2013 she was at the forefront of a growing movement to diversify the environmental sector, serving as the lead manager to build a network of board members from the nation’s largest environmental groups (including the Sierra Club, NRDC, and the League of Conservation Voters).
Additionally as the National Director of Programs for the Friends of the American Latino Museum, Francella directs the strategy and production of the campaign’s efforts to create a National Smithsonian American Latino Museum. She coordinates with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus and the Congressional Hispanic Conference to design advocacy and community engagement programs for the campaign. She has built a robust network of support for this long overdue museum that includes award-winning musicians, artists, civil rights icons, and city councils nationwide.
Francella earned a bachelor’s degree in government from Georgetown University and a Master in Public Policy from the University of Southern California. She was chosen as a 2014 Hispanic Leader by the U.S. Embassy of Spain and as a 2016 Aspen Ideas Festival Scholar and Aspen Ideas Award Finalist. Born in Costa Rica, her family immigrated to Los Angeles where she was undocumented during part of her childhood; she now serves as the Board Chair of the Esperanza Education Fund, a scholarship and mentorship organization for immigrants in the Washington, DC metro area.