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Montgomery County Women's History Archive:

40 Women of Historical Significance in Montgomery County

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Carmen Delgado Votaw


Carmen Delgado Votaw





Carmen Delgado Votaw has been a life-long advocate for civil and human rights, and a leader in the advancement of women. At the end of 2006, she retired as Senior Vice President for Public Policy from the Alliance for Children and Families, a nonprofit organization that serves over 400 agencies that provide services to children and families. Her previous job was Director of Public Policy for United Way of America where she served in the Community Impact Service Area linking public policy advocacy to community outcomes. Formerly, she was the Director of Government Relations for the 3.5 million member Girl Scouts of the USA and also served as a member of the National Board of Directors of the Girl Scouts for nine years. For all three organizations she monitored federal legislation, lobbied on their behalf and organized their grassroots advocacy efforts. She is currently President of the Public Members Association of the Foreign Service.

Much earlier in her career, Votaw was chief of staff to U.S. Member of Congress, Jaime B. Fuster of Puerto Rico for six years. Her previous positions, both volunr and staff, include serving as Vice President of Information and Services for Latin America, Inc. (ISLA); President of the InterAmerican Commission of Women of the Organization of American States; Co-Chair of the National Advisory Commiteeee of Women (presidential appointment); Commissioner on the International Women’s Year Commission (IWY); Federal Programs Specialist, Office of the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, Washington, D.C.; National President, National Conference of Puerto Rican Women; former Chair of the National Coalition for Women and Girls in Education; former Chair of the Human Services Forum of the National Assembly of Health and Human Service Organizations; former member of the Independent Sector Government Relations Commiteeee.

Votaw also served as a member of the Trial Court Judicial Nominating Commission for the State of Maryland. She is a member of the prestigious Council on Foreign Affairs and is a Lay Eucharistic Minister at Washington National Cathedral. She is the immediate past president of the Pan American Liaison Commiteeee of Women’s Organizations (PALCO), a member of the Board of Directors for the Mid Atlantic Equity Center, the Maryland Women’s Heritage Center and the DC Metro Chapter Board of the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women. She currently serves on the Montgomery County Executive’s Latino Advisory Commiteeee in Maryland.

Votaw is the author of a bilingual book (English and Spanish), Puerto Rican Women: Some Biographical Profiles. She authored biographies of Julia de Burgos and Maria Cadilla de Martinez in Notable American Women (1980), and of a chapter in To Ourselves Be True. She has writeeen a number of articles in publications such as Americas, Vision, Horizontes, Agenda Magazine, Nuestro, and Graduate Woman.

Votaw has visited nearly seventy countries to speak on human and civil rights and on development and women’s issues. She has also participated in countless international forums of governmental and non-governmental organizations including five United Nations World Conferences on Women (Mexico, Denmark, Kenya, Beijing, and New York). She has been honored by a number of organizations, including the Hispanic Heritage Award for Education in 1996, a Civil Rights Award from NASA, the U.S. Marshals Service, the Instituto de Puerto Rico of New York, the National Institute for Women of Color, Hispanic USA Magazine, Federally Employed Women (FEW), the National Conference of Puerto Rican Women, MANA’s Las Primeras Award, the National Cuban American Women’s Association Award and the 1991 National Council of Hispanic Women’s Outstanding Achievement Award. She has also been inducted into the Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame.

Votaw has a bachelor of arts degree in international studies from The American University, an honorary doctorate in the humanities from Hood College and an associate degree from the University of Puerto Rico. She is listed in Who’s Who of American Women; the International Who’s Who; Who’s Who in Latin America; and in Feminists Who Changed America 1963-1975