Washington, D.C. – MALDEF (Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund) announced the appointment today of Andrea Senteno as Regional Counsel for its Washington, D.C. office.

In her new role, Senteno will oversee MALDEF’s legislative and regulatory work in Washington and litigation work covering the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, Fourth and Eleventh Circuits. She joined MALDEF in 2012 as a law clerk and a year later was named Legislative Staff Attorney, with responsibility for MALDEF’s legislative and regulatory portfolios on immigration and voting rights.

“As we enter an era where Latino policy interests will be more and more central to the national policy agenda, Andrea Senteno will be a terrific leader of MALDEF’s efforts in Washington, D.C.,” said Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF president and general counsel. “I am pleased to welcome Andrea to the MALDEF leadership team.”

In her tenure at MALDEF, Senteno has been responsible for MALDEF’s federal immigration policy work, which includes issues related to enforcement, immigrant detention, administrative relief, and legislative proposals. She has also led election reform efforts to protect Latino voting rights, including MALDEF’s efforts to advance a legislative fix following the U.S. Supreme Court’s 2013 decision in Shelby County v. Holder, which dealt a severe blow to every American’s voting rights by incapacitating a key section of the 1965 federal Voting Rights Act.

Senteno has had a long commitment to public interest work, as well as social and racial justice issues. Prior to attending law school, she advocated for government transparency and accountability in New York, focusing on election reform issues. She received her J.D. from American University Washington College of Law and B.A. from Pitzer College.

“I am humbled by this opportunity to lead MALDEF’s D.C. office at such a critical time for the Latino community,” Senteno said. “Growing up in California, I was inspired by MALDEF and its historic legacy to serve others. Here in the nation’s capital, we see the origins of federal policies that are designed to harm Latinos across the U.S. and I am proud to continue MALDEF’s important work in the fight for civil rights for millions of Americans.”