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Yanina Vargas headshot


Yanina comes to the Women’s Fund with over 20 years of experience in higher education administration. She has significant experience in strategic planning and the implementation of programs and initiatives focused on representation and social justice. Her work has been guided by principles of cultural humility and collective leadership. She has also worked in the non-profit sector on sexual and domestic violence prevention and services, women’s, and GLBTQ+ rights. She has overseen the development and implementation of numerous programs that resulted in higher student retention and success rates, particularly for underrepresented groups.

As a Puerto Rican woman, Yanina’s work is also informed by her experience growing up in a colonial system and the importance of understanding intersectionality. She is an activist at heart and has always identified with the struggle of marginalized groups.

Yanina has a bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Universidad Interamericana de Puerto Rico and a Master’s of Music from Bowling Green State University. She was the first woman to pursue orchestral conducting in her undergraduate program – something she feels has helped her develop leadership skills.

Her favorite book is La Casa de Los Espíritus (The House of the Spirits) by Isabel Allende. After years of individualized classical piano training, she found a deep love for playing Indonesian gamelan ensemble music, a style of music based on collective performance and accessible to everyone, regardless of musical background or training. Her happy places and cooking and swimming.

Contact Yanina