Meet Natalia Rodriguez-Hilt

Meet Natalia Rodriguez-Hilt

Raza Development Fund’s newest team member, Natalia Rodriguez-Hilt looks forward to connecting with UnidosUS Affiliates next month at the 2023 UnidosUS Annual Conference in Chicago. She serves as the Sr. Director of UnidosUS Affiliate Support to lead programs and efforts to strengthen the organizational resilience and capacity of affiliates.

Get to know her in this Q&A.  

Where are you from? 
I am a mix of a few places. I was born in Guatemala City, Guatemala. My dad’s side of the family is Colombian (from Espinal, Colombia) and my mom’s side is Southern Illinois. I grew up in Monterrey, Mexico. 

What motivates you? 
As I reflect back on my life, I love seeing how many things in my life have led me to where I am today and to the blessing of getting to do this incredible work. My family and faith are everything to me – who I am today and the rock that keeps me grounded. 

With a pastor as a father, I grew up in the church community and very involved in humanitarian work. My parents have always been an example of selfless service, hospitality, and servant leadership. From an from an early age I realized the inequities that existed and affected people I cared about. At the age of 13, I decided to do something about it and started working with my dad to translate resources and host classes to teach girls practical skills, leadership and spiritual development.

Natalia with RDF colleagues Rachel Jimenez and Ruby Marinez

Tell about your professional background 
In 2011, I moved to the U.S. to receive my bachelor’s degree and eventually my master’s in public administration from Indiana University. Since then, I have been working in community and economic development. Most recently, I worked at Local Initiative Support Corporation (LISC) leading place-based strategies to improve economic mobility in Indianapolis.Throughout my career, I have had the privilege of supporting a variety of sector including real estate development, community planning, strategic planning, small business development and entrepreneurship, non-profit developments, Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFIs) ecosystem building, DEI, and fundraising. This has given me a well-rounded understanding of economic growth and opportunity.

What excites you about your role at Raza Development Fund?

Natalia, and the RDF team, meet with UnidosUS Affiliate CARECEN in DC.

It’s an honor to use my skills to elevate incredible Latino organizations doing impactful work, increase investment in the Latino communities and work with UnidosUS to expand the resources available to empower affiliates. As I start my role, I feel incredibly privileged to carry on the Affiliate Support Program. This program was created by Eric Salazar, RDF’s late Familia member. Although I didn’t have the opportunity to meet him, I know he built a strong foundation with a passion for serving communities.

I look forward to continuing this great work to provide tailored capacity building assistance to our affiliates through the Affiliate Support Program. These Latino-serving community-based organizations provide critical resources in areas that need them most by building trust with those they serve. In doing so, they are closing disparity gaps to access. It’s imperative we support these efforts, and ASP is one tool to do that. 

How can affiliates connect with you? 
While I have already met a few affiliates, I’m excited to connect with even more while joining the RDF team at UnidosUS conference in Chicago, July 22-24. Affiliates can meet me and learn more about the Affiliate Support Program, in the Affiliate Lounge on Saturday, July 22

Contact me at 

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