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Barbara Casanova

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Barbara M. Casanova

Campaign Professional, Policy Advocate, Researcher, Public Relations Manager, Author

I come from a storied political family. My Grandfather, Jose Manual Casanova, Sr. was a Cuban Senator, signer of the 1940 Constitution, and Sugarmill owner. He was known as the Sugar Czar and coined "Sin Azucar No Hay Pais." When my parents came to the US in exile in 1960, they made it their mission to advance the cause of Freedom and the protection of Capitalism, limited government, free speech, and a robust national defense. My father, Jose Manuel Casanova, Jr., became Chair of the Miami-Dade County Republican Executive Committee. Along with my Mother, Alicia Labrit Casanova, both were National Chairs of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly and Presidential Appointees under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, Sr.

President Reagan Appointed my father as US Executive Director of the Interamerican Development Bank and was the highest-ranking Cuban-American to join the Reagan Administration. During his tenure, then Secretary of the Treasury, Secretary James A. Baker III appointed him to serve simultaneously as US Executive Director for the InterAmerican Investment Corporation. In his 8 years of service, he approved over 20 billion dollars in loans and was instrumental in promoting the free-enterprise in Latin America.

 

Alicia Casanova was appointed by President Reagan to serve as Comptroller of the Peace Corps. Later, President Bush Sr. appointed her as Director of Small and Disadvantaged Business Utilization for the Department of Transportation, giving millions of dollars in DOT loans to minority and women-owned businesses until she retired in 1994.

I learned about politics, campaigning, and civic duty at their side at an early age. I volunteered on national campaigns, attended RNC National Conventions, and honed my skills in strategic planning, campaign management, grassroots development, and communications. Eventually, I received a BA in Political Science from Catholic University, interned for Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, and worked at the national offices of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly. I was an administrative assistant to San Diego Mayor Susan Golding in 1995. In 2000, I worked for the Vermont Republican Legislative Election Committee as a campaign consultant. I supervised 40 state house candidates, where I learned the stark difference between national campaigns and rural politics.

 

Professionally, I've spent over 30 years in the association / non-profit world in several roles, including legislative aid, lobbyist, membership director, and program manager. I've served on the board of Cuban Cultural Heritage and the Cuban Sugarmill Owners Association.

 

I am an Alternative Committeewoman for the Republican Party of Miami-Dade County, 2nd Vice Chair and Director of Membership for the Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Florida, and National Secretary for the Republican National Hispanic Assembly. Most recently, I was honored to be part of Latinos for Trump Coalition.

 

Professionally, I am currently a guest faculty member for the Leadership Institute, a national non-profit organization dedicated to training conservative leaders. I am also the Chair and Founder of Citizens First, a 501c4 dedicated to educating voters, mentoring citizens who wish to run for office, and empowering them with the tools necessary to run a campaign. 

 

I am involved in several political and philanthropic projects, and I invite you to explore my ongoing projects here or visit my LinkedIn page. If you'd like to connect with me or volunteer, contact me.

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