ELLE Editor in Chief Nina Garcia has been named one of USA Today‘s 2022 Women of the Year alongside honorees including Vice President Kamala Harris, Olympic gymnast Simone Biles, philanthropist Melinda French Gates, and more.
Garcia, who was born in Colombia and became the first Latina to helm a major fashion magazine in the U.S., is recognized for uplifting Latinx voices with her role at ELLE. She previously spoke about her responsibility while accepting a CFDA Fashion Award for Best Media in November. “My mission is so clear,” she said at the time. “Now, more than ever, it is important to use our platform to tell stories that uplift other women and to have conversations that might not be so comfortable. We must be bold; we must be courageous; and we certainly must herald in a new age of fashion, one that is transparent, responsible, and representative.”
In her Women of the Year interview with USA Today, Garcia also shared that her dream is to see “all of the Latinos in this country feel that pride in their heritage.” She told the outlet: “For me, that was really the guiding light as I was coming up in the business and that was my source of strength. That’s what made me feel that I had something unique to offer, because there were so many talented editors, but I was coming from a different perspective and I was seeing fashion with a little bit of a different perspective.”
Along with Garcia, Biles is being acknowledged for raising conversations about mental health in sports, Gates for her contributions to those affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, and Harris for being the country’s first woman vice president. Other national honorees are: Rosalind Brewer, the only Black woman CEO of an S&P 500 company; Kizzmekia Corbett, The National Institute of Health’s lead scientist for coronavirus vaccine research, who helped develop the COVID-19 vaccine; Heather Cox Richardson, who runs the Letters from an American newsletter; Roopali Desai, an attorney who defended the integrity of the 2020 presidential election and helped launch a recreational marijuana program; Cheryl Horn, who advocates for missing indigenous women in Montana; Rachel Levine, secretary of health and the highest-ranking openly transgender U.S. official; Janet Murguía, president and CEO of UnidosUS; and Linda Zhang, chief engineer behind the all-electric Ford F-150 Lightning. The list also acknowledges local representatives from each state.
This impressive roster of women was nominated by USA Today Network readers and staff, plus a diverse panel including Anthea M. Hartig, director, Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History; Cid Wilson, president and CEO; Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility; and Maribel Perez Wadsworth, president of news at Gannett Media and publisher of USA Today.
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