Washington, D.C.- U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nevada), the first Latina to be elected to the United States Senate, will be the featured speaker on Thursday, April 27, at the 2017 MALDEF Awards Gala in Washington, D.C.

This year’s event pays tribute to the work and achievements of three exemplary leaders in civil rights, labor rights, and legal service.

MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) will bestow awards for Lifetime Achievement, Excellence in Legal Service to Marcia Greenberger, Founder and President of the National Women’s Law Center, and John E. Huerta, former General Counsel of the Smithsonian Institution. Hector E. Sanchez, Executive Director of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement, and Chair of the National Hispanic Leadership Agenda, will be honored with the Excellence in Community Service award. MALDEF recognizes the significant contributions of these outstanding leaders and applauds their dedication to advance the Latino community.

The yearly event attracts Washington’s most notable government and community leaders in celebration of the contributions and sacrifice made by honorees to advance Latino causes across the U.S. The banquet will be held at The Mayflower Hotel.


  • MALDEF 2017 Washington, D.C. Awards Gala




  • Hector E. Sanchez, Executive Director, Labor Council for Latin American Advancement; and Chair, National Hispanic Leadership Agenda: “Excellence in Community Service”
  • Marcia Greenberger, Founder and President, National Women’s Law Center: “Lifetime Achievement, Excellence in Legal Service”
  • John E. Huerta, former General Counsel, Smithsonian Institution: “Lifetime Achievement, Excellence in Legal Service”

Special Guests/ Presenters

  • U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV)
  • Thomas A. Saenz, President & General Counsel, MALDEF

Master of Ceremonies

  • Claudia Curiel, Telemundo



  • Thursday, April 27, 2017
    6:00 pm – Reception/ Red Carpet arrivals
    7:00 pm – Dinner and Awards Program



  • The Mayflower Hotel 1127 Connecticut Avenue NW Washington, D.C. 20036