Meet GMS Alumna Cinthia Manuel: Pathway Leader for Diversity Initiatives



Cinthia Manuel, Director of Emerging Leaders for Portland Leadership Foundation is a founding member of the Gates Millennium Scholarship Alumni Association (GMS). In 2015, she acted as the Vice President of the Alumni Association until 2017. Before she became a GMS Scholar in 2001, at the age of thirteen she moved to the United States from Mexico with her parents and sister. As the first-generation college student, she earned her undergraduate degree from Linfield College and pursued her Master’s in Business Administration from George Fox University. Specializing in strategic planning, marketing, communications, account management, her passion is shown through diversity initiatives and mentoring.

Today, she is the Director of Internships for the Emerging Leadership Internship Program, an initiative of the Portland Leadership Foundation. Manuel provides pathways to leadership opportunities for aspiring professionals by speaking at local high schools. Through her initiatives, she promotes the awareness of post-secondary education, scholarship, and college readiness to parents and high school students.

According to Medium, after her success in Fortune 500 companies such as Xerox and Hewlett-Packard, Regence BlueCross BlueShield, and Oregon’s Health CO-OP, she then explored the nonprofit life.


“I believe in the work of Portland Leadership Foundation because we strengthen communities by shaping and arming diverse leaders with tools to break invisible barriers with knowledge, passion, humility, and servant leadership.”

Due to her strong passion in higher education, she has been featured in the Jopwell online community and other scholarship blogs. She has also served on the Board of Directors for INROADS Oregon, Portland ALPFA, and George Fox University Advisory Board.

Cinthia’s strong work ethic and selfless ability allows her to provide for the city of Portland while opening doors and creating opportunity for traditional and non-traditional college students. When she isn’t working Cinthia is an outdoor enthusiast who  enjoys running half-marathons on her free time and kickboxing.

Check out the full interview between Cinthia and Ryan Buchanan to get more information, as well as their conversation on the Faces of Marketing podcast via Soundcloud.