“ I am grateful for all the people who have supported me in bringing leadership practice to diverse communities and to help people understand that in a democracy, leadership is everybody’s business.” Said Juana Bordas upon learning that she will receive The International Leadership Association (ILA) Life-Long Achievement Award on October 26th in Ottawa, Canada. The award recognizes significant lifetime contributions including prominent published works, influential support of the body of leadership knowledge and practice.
Bordas joins such renowned trail-breakers and thought-leaders as: Peter Drucker, Warren Bennis, Robert Greenleaf, James MacGregor Burns, Margaret Wheatley, and Max De Pree. Bordas is the first Latina to receive this prestigious recognition and comments, “I am so grateful for those who came before me, who prepared me, and encouraged me to write about leadership from a diverse and community perspective. I am honored to be recognized with so many of my teachers who received this award.”
ILA is the global network for those who study, teach, and practice leadership. ILA brings together thousands of leadership professionals from multiple sectors, disciplines, professions, cultures, and generations – to advance leadership knowledge and practice for a better world.
Bordas is the author of the award-winning, best-seller, Salsa, Soul and Spirit: Leadership for a Multicultural Age and The Power of Latino Leadership which won the Nautilus Prize for best Indigenous book in 2013. Both books were published by Berrett-Koehler. “Latino Leadership: Building a Humanistic and Diverse Society” published in 2001 by The Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies was the first ground breaking work on this subject. Bordas has published 22 articles and 3 chapters on leadership and diversity including being a contributor to the 2015 NY best seller Peter Drucker’s Five Most Important Questions: Enduring Wisdom for today’s leaders.
What distinguishes Bordas’ life work from most leadership scholars, however, is that she has cultivated leadership at the community level. In 1977 she was a founder of Mi Casa Resource Center and served as executive director until 1986. Mi Casa is recognized today as a national model for women’s empowerment. Bordas was the first President/CEO of the National Hispana Leadership Institute – the only program in the US that prepared Latinas for national positions. In 2001, she founded the Circle of Latina Leadership to train the next generation of Latina Leaders in Colorado–165 young women completed the program. In 2015 Bordas launched Lideramos – The National Latino Leadership Alliance with a mission of enhancing and initiating Latino leadership programs across the US. For her extensive work with Latinas, Latina Style Magazine commended her for “Creating a nation of Latina Leaders.”
Bordas was the first Latina faculty at The Center for Creative Leadership and taught in the Leadership Development Program – the most utilized corporate training program in the world. Among her awards: Wise Woman Award from The National Center for Women’s Policy Studies; A Colorado Women’s Hall of Fame Inductee; Denver Business Journal 2003 Outstanding Women in Business; Spellman College’s Center for Leadership 2006 Leadership Legacy award; and Denver’s 2008 Martin Luther King Jr. Business Responsibility Award. A returned Peace Corps volunteer, she received the Franklin Williams Award from the US Peace Corps for her work in advancing communities of color. The Denver Post and Colorado Women’s Foundation recognized her as The 2009 Colorado Unique Woman of the Year.
Juana was born in Nicaragua, her life’s work is reflective of the many contributions immigrants have made and continue to make to the US and the world.