Director of Inclusion and Diversity Officer
Senior Leadership Team
Mónica L. Villalta is a cultural competence expert, diversity leader and public health practitioner with roles in the public and private sector. Villalta holds a Master of Public Health from University of California, Berkeley and a Bachelor of Science from the University of Maryland.
Monica is an Annie E. Casey Foundation Children and Family Fellow and National Hispana Leadership Institute Fellow. She earned certificates from the Center for Creative Leadership and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University. She loves Salsa music and the opera.
What piece of your work at NAMI are you most proud of?
I am proud of my work with NAMI leadership to implement a comprehensive approach to Diversity, Inclusion and Cultural Competence. We know that diversity can only be sustained in an inclusive culture. To achieve our organizational mission -- "to build better lives for all people affected by mental illness" -- we must give thoughtful consideration to personal and organizational practices and the know-how (cultural competence) and attitudes that demonstrate our commitment and values.
Who inspires you?
I am inspired by people who demonstrate a strong desire to help others understand the destructive power of every day stereotyping, othering and stigma. I admire people with passion for cultural transformation that enables positive thoughts and behaviors.