Search
Close this search box.

Hispanic Chamber Speakers Bureau

Hire Latino Speakers for Your Next Event

Cyber | Threat Analysis, Risk Management, Intelligence | Defense|Military, Space|Geospatial|Aerospace, Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.

Linda Urrutia-Varhall

Linda “UV” Urrutia-Varhall is the first Latina United States Air Force Academy graduate and Latina women in the United States Air Force  to attain Major General (2 Star) rank. She is a global, award-winning executive leader and advisor with 30+ years’ experience across Intelligence, Cyber, Security, Technology, Risk, Geospatial/Space, Threat Analysis, Diversity/Equity/Inclusion, and Aerospace in the U.S., Asia, Middle East, Europe, and Latin America. As a trusted adviser, she led as right hand to three Secretaries of Defense and the Director of National Intelligence, advising Cabinet-level officials, Intelligence Officers and National Intelligence Agencies, Congress and the White House on aligning objectives, developing and executing strategies and policies, and diplomacy initiatives.  Diverse mindset, highly recruited for top advisory commiiteees over a wide spectrum…diversity, equity, and inclusion; scientific and operational imperatives; and intelligence expertise.

She led as Defacto Deputy to Cabinet-level officials and senior leader at the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency, she was responsible for over 7,500 people and a $1.2B budget focused on geospatial operations, setting and leading strategy execution for the inclusion of Geospatial data. She cultivated strategic, global partnerships and galvanized diverse groups to embrace emerging technologies and innovative solutions, asking the right questions to address strategic and operational challenges

Linda provided crisis intelligence and advised the Secretary of Defense, Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Combatant Commands on policy, strategy and operational planning, while leading Defense Global Warning Systems. Linda created the cyber infrastructure and strategy while leading the newly created cyberspace command, including 1,300 people and $72M budget. The concept was taken to White House as a next-generation Operational Security mission to resource. She also led training of 14,500 people to execute operations in the event of crisis or nuclear attack.

She created strategic partnerships across U.S. agencies and international counterparts to develop platforms and processes, resolving overarching challenges. She was instrumental in White House initiative that synchronized how all government entities identified, monitored, and protected U.S. national airspace from intentional and unintentional incursions, which became part of the national security schema.

Represented the DoD at senior level and the UN, contributing to the strategic security and exit strategy for the U.S, leading global ISR with 14,000 people across 70 global locations, developing strategies, requirements, and policies for air, space, and cyber portfolio. She established and led strategy for geospatial expansion, including, commercial, open source, satellites and airborne imagery information for cutting-edge safety and navigation, forging novel multi-agency partnerships and multi-national cooperation. Linda also led the reorganization and restructure of the largest U.S. Air Force unit (17,500 personnel) in an unprecedented 6 months.

Linda is a respected leader, diversity champion and dynamic speaker on intelligence, cyber, space, national security, threat analysis, data, technology, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. She has been featured on television, radio and numerous publications.  Linda is a research staff member for the Institute of Defense Analyses and has a seat on the Board of Directors for the National Military Intelligence Foundation (Vice Chair) and the Natonal Intelligence University Foundation. 

 

For more information, please call (719) 231-5353

Health Equity and Vaccines, Experiences of Immigrants and Refugees

Julissa Soto

For more than twenty years, Soto has dedicated her career to being a leading advocate for Latino immigrant equality, inclusion and health equity in Colorado and throughout the nation. From working with teen parent programs and serving on the Colorado Vaccine Equity Task Force, to promoting health equity at the American Diabetes Association, Soto has pioneered a
wide range of programming designed to empower marginalized communities.

Her advocacy efforts have appeared in publications throughout Colorado, as well as NPR, Time magazine, Hispanic Executive, the American Public Health Association’s Public Health, Religion and Spirituality Bulletin, and a new documentary from the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition. She has been a featured TEDx Talk speaker, and her success in leading and managing evidence-based prevention programs serving new immigrants has been recognized at both the state and national levels:

For more than twenty years, Soto has dedicated her career to being a leading advocate for Latino immigrant equality, inclusion and health equity in Colorado and throughout the nation. From working with teen parent programs and serving on the Colorado Vaccine Equity Task Force, to promoting health equity at the American Diabetes Association, Soto has pioneered a
wide range of programming designed to empower marginalized communities.

Her advocacy efforts have appeared in publications throughout Colorado, as well as NPR, Time magazine, Hispanic Executive, the American Public Health Association’s Public Health, Religion and Spirituality Bulletin, and a new documentary from the Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition. She has been a featured TEDx Talk speaker, and her success in leading and managing evidence-based prevention programs serving new immigrants has been recognized at both the state and national levels:

  • 2024 Disruptor of the Year Award, African Chamber of Commerce Colorado USA
  • 2023 Immunization Champion Award, Association of Immunization Managers
  • 2023 Distinguished Service Award, CU Anschutz Medical Campus
  • 2023 Immunization Neighborhood Immunization Champion (Honorable Mention), National Adult and Influenza Immunization Summit (NAIIS)
  • 2022 Award for Excellence in the Promotion of Health Equity, Colorado Public Health Association
  • 2022 Community Faith Award, Church of Saint Mary Magdalene
  • 2022 DEI Champions in Advocacy Award, Colorado Springs Independent, Colorado Springs Business Journal, Southeast Express and Colorado Spring Military Newspaper Group
  • 2022 Equity in Immunization Award, National Coalition for Immunization Coalitions and Partnerships
  • 2022 Big Shot of the Year Award, Immunize Colorado
  • 2022 Victor Smith Memorial Award, Colorado Cross-Disability Coalition
  • 2022 Heroines of the Pandemic Award, Pikes Peak Women
  • 2021 Accolades, U.S. Senator Michael Bennet
  • 2021 Accolades, U.S. Senator John Hickenlooper
  • 2017 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Best Practices Award, National Diabetes Prevention Program (NDPP)
  • 2016 People Who Make a Difference Award, Wells Fargo
  • 2015 William Funk Award for Building Stronger Communities, Colorado Nonprofit Association
  • 2014 Unsung Heroine Award, Latinas First Foundation
  • 2012 Kathy Hill-Young Community Spirit Award
  • 2012 40 Under 40 Award, Denver Business Journal
  • 2007 Martin Luther King Jr. Humanitarian Award
  • 2007 and 2006 Colorado Rockies Leadership Award Finalist
  • 2006 Excellence in Education Award, Denver Hispanic Chamber of Commerce
  • 2006 Layperson of the Year, Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved
  • 2005 Dia de la Mujer Latina “Courage and Valor” Award, Latino/a Research & Policy Center

Her work and achievements continue to inspire other immigrant hopefuls and newcomers in Colorado and across the globe. A Channel 22 documentary chronicling her journey navigating systems in the United States and becoming successful in a new country, Mexicanos Exitosos, aired in both Mexico and Spain. In 2021, Soto’s innovative programming and community-based intervention strategies earned one of Colorado’s most prestigious honors when Colorado Governor Jared Polis proclaimed September 20, 2021 as “Julissa Soto Day”.  Since then, Julissa’s efforts have led to the vaccination of more than 30,000 Latino adults, youth and children, as well as the distribution of more than 180,000 COVID-19 tests and 90,000 masks.

Today, Soto is proud to continue to provide consulting and education services to partners and agencies throughout Colorado and the United States as CEO and founder of Julissa Soto Latino Health Equity Consulting. She serves on the Health Equity Commission for the Colorado Department of Public Health and is the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Co-Chair of the Regional Accountable Entity (RAE) Program Improvement Advisory Committee (PIAC), which provides guidance on health equity and outcomes. She also serves on the Suicide Prevention Commission for Colorado representing the voices of suicide attempt survivors – and particularly those facing multiple disparities. As a member of the Vaccine Community Advisory Board, Julissa contributes to research at the University of Colorado and Childrens Hospital by advising research recruitment efforts, connecting staff to community organizations, participating in discussions about vaccine and COVID treatment, and advocating for inclusive research practices. She also serves as a board member for Colorado Migrant Rural Coalition (CMRC) – where she advocates for healthy equity and economic justice – and is member of the DEI Advisory Committee for Early Milestones Colorado as well as the KIPP Colorado Public Schools Board of Directors. She is a board member of Colorado Alliance for Health Equity and Practice (CAHEP), and in 2022, Julissa became a member of the Legislative Leadership Network for the Colorado Catholic Conference, where she combines her faith and health equity advocacy, and is a member of the Denver Catholic Medical Association.

At the national level, Julissa Soto is an active member of the National Hispanic Medical Association, and she currently serves on the United States Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)’s Behavioral Health Equity steering committee. She is also a member of the National Conference for Immunization Coalitions and Partnerships Planning Committee and serves on the Immunization Workgroup for the National Association of County and City Health Officials. As a Cultural Advisory Board member for Vaccinate Your Family – a national nonprofit organization that strives to protect people of all ages from vaccine-preventable diseases – she shares her extensive health equity expertise to aid in the development of outreach plans to increase pediatric COVID vaccine uptake in marginalized communities.

In her spare time, Julissa serves as an Ambassador with the Colorado Department of Public Health Care and Finance, and is proud to partner with Young Invincibles as a mentor empowering young adults to enhance their voices, impact and economic opportunities.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, PLEASE CALL (719) 231-5353

Translate »