Newark, NJ - Lupe Fund President Sara Peña will serve as the Director of the Center for Hispanic Policy Research and Development at New Jersey Department of State, the organization announced today.  

Peña will be primarily responsible to provide financial support and technical assistance to Hispanic community -based organizations throughout New Jersey and to ensure that the executive and legislative branches are informed of legislative initiatives with potential impact on the Hispanic community.

A native of Newark, Peña graduated from Kean University and earned her master's degree in public administration from Rutgers University.

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She is a Leadership Newark Fellow, a program designed to cultivate leadership through immersion in public policy and engagement with social and political issues and a graduate of Emerge New Jersey, a political leadership training program for Democratic women. Sara also served on the Human and Children Services Transition Advisory Committee for Governor Phil Murphy.

Peña brings some 20 years of experience developing and implementing communication strategies and building relationships and partnerships geared towards addressing community affairs, ranging from the non-profit, healthcare and government sectors.

Peña's commitment to community service and passion for mentoring the youth has led her to be recognized and honored by numerous organizations and elected officials, including the Illustrious Award from the Institute for Latino Studies.

Several Lupe Fund board members have been appointed to Gov. Phil Murphy's administration. They include Lupe Fund Vice President Andrea Martinez-Mejia, who serves as chief of staff in the Department of Health. In addition, board members Maria Del Cid, serves as director of Legislative Services in the Department of Health and Marelyn Rivera, serves as an aide to the governor.