Emily Mendrala is Executive Director of the Center for Democracy in the Americas. She was most recently a Director in the Legislative Affairs Directorate at the National Security Council where she advised the National Security Advisor on legislative matters pertaining to Latin America, Europe, Asia, Russia, nuclear nonproliferation, and multilateral affairs. Prior to joining President Obama’s NSC, Emily worked at the Department of State as a Special Advisor to the Coordinator for Cuban Affairs on bilateral and congressional matters and, before that, as an advisor on Central America regional affairs. Before joining the Department, Emily was a Professional Staff Member on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and advised Chairman John Kerry on Latin America, global women’s issues, foreign assistance, and trafficking in persons. She also previously served as the director of the educational wing of a nonprofit organization in Alexandria, Virginia working with a Salvadoran immigrant population. Emily is from Raleigh, North Carolina. She has an M.A. in International Economics with a concentration in Latin American Studies from Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies and a B.A. in Mathematics from the University of Virginia.