Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute

Rudy Besserra

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Rudy Beserra

Sr. Vice President of Latin Affairs
The Coca-Cola Company

Chli Corporate Board Member since 2003

Chli 2003 Founding Member

Rudy M. Beserra is Senior Vice President for Latin Affairs at The Coca-Cola Company. He began his career 25 years ago, in 1989, after serving as special assistant to President Ronald Reagan on Latino and Small Business Affairs.

A native of Albuquerque, Rudy is a graduate of the University of New Mexico. From modest roots, he has built a long, successful career as an advocate and voice for the Latino community. With Coca-Cola, he has strengthened the company’s bridge to hundreds of Latino organizations and small businesses in the U.S.

Rudy is an active member of a number of prominent Latino-focused organizations, including the League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC); the Congressional Hispanic Leadership Institute (CHLI), of which he is a founding member; and he serves on the board of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI). In the past, Rudy has served as chairman of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF).

In 2011, Rudy received the NFL Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award. That same year, he was awarded the Hector Barreto “Con Ganas” Award at the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (USHCC) annual convention in Miami for his advocacy promoting Latino businesses in the private sector.

In 2007, he received the Executive of the Year Award from the Association of Latin Professionals in Finance. His other citations include the 1995 Hispanic Community Commitment Award by the Latin American Management Association; a special recognition award in 2006 by the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce; and the 2007 Hispanic Leadership Award from the Dominican Times.

In 1987, during his tenure with President Reagan’s administration, Rudy was instrumental in creating The Hispanic Heritage Foundation's (HHF) Hispanic Heritage Awards. They were established by the White House to commemorate the creation of Hispanic Heritage month in the United States.

For the past 27 years, the Hispanic Heritage Awards have honored Latino leaders in various fields who have made a positive impact in the United States and around the globe. The awards are unique in that physicians, scientists, educators, innovators, public officials, community and business leaders, and even young leaders are presented the coveted award.

Rudy lives in Atlanta with his wife, Lois, and two daughters.