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Our 2021 Spirit of HOPE Honoree


Vice Chair Nora Vargas

San Diego County Supervisor, District 1

We are delighted to celebrate Vice Chair Nora Vargas as the recipient of our Spirit of HOPE Award in recognition of her extraordinary achievements in supporting the advancement of Latinas and the Latino community. The HOPE Board admires her steadfast dedication to ensuring the Latina experience is recognized and uplifted, particularly though the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and ongoing reckoning with racial injustice.

We are proud to count on Vice Chair Vargas as a committed and supportive member of the HOPE network as a HOPE Leadership Institute Alumna, a 2018 HOPE Binational Fellow, a former chair of the HOPE Board, and current HOPE Champion (advisory board member).

A first-generation immigrant, Supervisor Nora Vargas was sworn in on January 4, 2021 as the first Latina and first woman of color to serve as County Supervisor in the 171-year history of the County of San Diego. She was unanimously elected Vice-Chair of the Board by her peers.


Vice Chair Vargas is Co-Chair of the County's COVID-19 subcommittee and is leading efforts to mitigate the impacts of the global pandemic, focusing on economic recovery from an equity lens. She serves as Chair for SANDAG’s Transportation Committee and the Air Pollution Control District, as well as Vice Chair for the Regional Task Force on Homelessness’ Continuum of Care Advisory Board.


Prior to her election to the San Diego County Board of Supervisors, Vice Chair Vargas served as member of the Southwestern College Governing Board and was the first Latina Executive for Planned Parenthood of the Pacific Southwest.


For the last 25 years, Vice Chair Vargas has been dedicated to removing barriers for underserved communities through civic engagement, public policy and community organizing. Through public service she is working to drive positive change and serve her community. Additionally, She has served on numerous local, statewide, and national boards and commissions. She currently serves as a Board member for the National Association of Latino Elected Officials (NALEO) and as Advisory Board member for Hispanas Organized for Political Equality (HOPE).

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