CIA Hosts Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez at Hispanic Heritage Month Celebration
October 7, 2009
The CIA celebrated Hispanic Heritage Month yesterday by hosting Representative Loretta Sanchez of California, the daughter of Mexican immigrants. She spoke to an audience of Agency officers about the growing leadership role Hispanic Americans play in our country, and the importance of mentoring, diversity, and professional development.
CIA Director Leon E. Panetta—the son of Italian immigrants—praised Sanchez’s work on these issues. “She is very much a symbol of the success that those who came to this country—and those who are the children of immigrants—can enjoy if they work hard,” said Panetta. “I can’t think of anyone better than Loretta Sanchez to be able to address the importance of diversity in our government and the rising influence of Hispanic leaders.”
Sanchez noted the patriotism of immigrant communities in the United States. “The immigrant family,” she said, “is really the family that works hard, that believes the American dream, that believes all of you who are here—who are at the CIA—believe in America. You wouldn’t be here otherwise. You believe in the great experiment called America.”
Sanchez praised Panetta’s efforts to increase diversity at the CIA. “Our kids need to understand they can be a Member of Congress, or a President, or a UN Secretary-General, or a Director of the CIA,” she said.