Joelle L. Martinez is the President, Executive Director, and CEO of the Latino Leadership Institute (LLI) at the University of Denver. The organization was founded in 2013 by a collection of Denver Latino leaders, with Martinez joining in 2014 to further the vision of helping Latinos prepare for and connect with positions of influence and aid organizations in creating a more inclusive mindset. Since arriving at her position with the LLI, the organization has prepared and connected over 250 Latinos into positions of influence in multiple industries and sectors.

Prior to the LLI, she largely worked as a political strategist, consulting on major campaigns, leading communication efforts, and designing public policy awareness campaigns. However, she was excited when an opportunity to join the LLI arose to further chase her passion for inspiring communities through civic engagement.

Martinez’s work has generated many recognitions over the years due to her expertise in Latino demographic shifts, civic engagement, and diversity and inclusion, amongst many more subjects. She is a nationally recognized executive, strategist, inspirational speaker, and trainer. In 2017, she was named one of the 25 most powerful women by the Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce. She also received the 2019 NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award for her numerous contributions to the Latino community. She has served on numerous boards, advisory councils, and committees for companies such as Mile High United Way, Building Better Colorado, Museum of Nature and Science, Denver 7 Colorado, Prosper Colorado, and many more.

There’s a lot of work that needs to happen to break down systemic oppression and create cultural inclusion in our country, but Martinez looks forward to the growth the organization can continue to bring to Latino communities. In an interview with Denver Women Magazine, she expands on the organization saying, “Together, along with our Board and others, we have already begun to change the power paradigm for those whom we directly work with. We are looking towards a promising future where we will continue to think bigger and do more.”


“When you get to a position of power and influence, give your power away. Pave the path for others to follow. Open the door to opportunity a bit wider. We are so motivated to keep our power when we get it that we fail to realize that our individual power can multiply in size if we share it with others and create collective power.” – Denver Women’s Magazine .

“…We can’t just convince those in power that we belong in positions of influence, we must do the hard work of convincing ourselves first.” – Denver Women’s Magazine

“The LLI prepares Latino leaders for positions of power and influence, collects and shares relevant data about the growing Latino populace, and partners with organizations to create a more inclusive mindset. With the context that Latinos have contributed significantly to the U.S. for centuries, the LLI believes that all organizations innovate the most when their leadership reflects the diverse population of the nation. We believe that reflective leadership is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. And, we choose to lead our communities, organizations, and country towards a destiny of greater inclusion and impact.” – Denver Women’s Magazine


Framework | E103 | Joelle Martinez: Unleashing the Economic and Social Potential of Diversity -

On My Way to Wealth Podcast: 124: Growing up Latina with Joelle L. Martinez -

Latino Leadership Institute // Get Involved! // -

Extended Interview on the Latino Leadership Institute's Ignite program -