inSPIRE STEM USA Supporting Productive Immigration Reform & Education

Meet the Co-Chairs

Senator John Sununu

Senator John Sununu (R‐NH) carved a unique path from the private sector to public office, serving for three terms in the House of Representatives and for six years as the youngest member of the United States Senate. Before entering public service, Sununu worked for emerging high‐tech firms as an engineer, strategy consultant and Chief Financial Officer. In Congress, he put his private sector expertise to work for the country, serving on Senate committees such as Commerce, Finance, Banking and Foreign Relations.

As one of the few members of Congress with a technical background, Sununu rose quickly to earn a seat on the House Appropriations Committee and served as Vice Chairman of the Budget Committee. During his term in the Senate, Sununu provided leadership in areas of finance and technology, figuring prominently in debates addressing funding for telecommunications policy, medical information technology and the National Science Foundation.

In the Senate, John Sununu took a lead role in pressing for regulatory reform, writing legislation to reign in the risk‐taking at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac that was signed into law in 2008. He led the effort to protect the Internet from unnecessary and unreasonable regulations, and negotiated a seven year ban on Internet taxes.

Since departing the U.S. Senate, Sununu has been involved in a number of private sector endeavors. Among other activities, he currently serves on the Board of Directors for Time Warner Cable, Boston Scientific and as Chairman of Waterville Valley Resorts in Waterville Valley, New Hampshire.

Senator Sununu holds BS and MS degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and an MBA from Harvard University.

Maria Cardona

A seasoned public policy advocate and political strategist, Maria Cardona has more than two decades of experience in the government, politics, public relations and community affairs arenas. Recognized among the most influential Latinos in the country, Maria is a Principal at the Dewey Square Group, leading the Multicultural and Public Affairs practices. Maria founded DSG’s Latino Strategies practice, “Latinovations,” and is a respected advocate on Latino issues. Maria is a national political commentator, and is currently a CNN and CNN en Español political contributor, and has appeared frequently on MSNBC, FOX, Univision and Telemundo.

Maria served as a Senior Advisor and spokesperson to the Hillary Clinton for President Campaign during the 2008 Democratic primary election, serving on the campaign’s Hispanic outreach team. During the 2008 and 2012 general election, she was a key surrogate for the Obama for America election campaign. Previously, Maria led the New Democrat Network’s (NDN) outreach initiative with Hispanics nationwide as a senior vice president. Her government and political background includes service as director of communications for the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) and five years at the Department of Commerce, first as Deputy Press Secretary and later as Press Secretary. During her time at the Commerce Department, she acted as lead communications strategist for the passage of NAFTA in 1993. She also served as communications director for the Democratic National Committee from 2001 to 2003.

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