Episode 73 • 01/04/2024

Juan Amador, Executive Director of SACNAS, on Culture, Assimilation, Mentoring, and Awards

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What does it mean to truly celebrate culture within the scientific community and why does it matter today? What role does mentoring play in shaping the careers of emerging scientists and leaders in STEM?

In this episode of Associations Thrive, host Joanna Pineda interviews Juan Amador, Executive Director or the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS). Juan discusses:

  • SACNAS’s goal to increase the representation of Chicanos, Hispanics, and Native Americans in STEM.
  • SACNAS’s motto of “celebration, not assimilation.” Juan explains this as celebrating science, community, and culture and bringing one’s true self to science, including cultural expressions, and building stronger communities.
  • The importance of mentoring in Juan’s career.
  • How SACNAS has a variety of mentoring programs, including official mentoring, long-term mentoring and episodic mentoring during the SACNAS annual conference.
  • What it means to him to be the first recipient of the Association Latinos Estrella Award, awarded last October 2023.


About Juan Amador

Juan Amador, FASAE, CAE, is the executive director for the Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) and responsible for leading the country’s largest multicultural and multidisciplinary STEM diversity organization.

About Society for Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science (SACNAS)

For almost 50 years, SACNAS has served as an inclusive organization dedicated to fostering the success of Chicano/Hispanics & Native Americans, from college students to professionals, in attaining advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership within STEM.

Today, the organization serves nearly 9,000 members and 133 student and professional chapters throughout the United States and Puerto Rico. SACNAS influences a larger STEM community of over 25,000 through outreach, advocacy, and production of  The National Diversity in STEM Conference.

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About Associations Thrive

Associations Thrive podcast is hosted by Joanna Pineda, CEO & Chief Troublemaker at Matrix Group International. Joanna’s personal mission and the mission of Matrix Group is to help associations and nonprofits increase membership, generate revenue and thrive in the digital space. 

We believe that every association has a unique mission and unique story that demonstrates how they’re serving their members, impacting their industry, and ultimately changing the world. Every guest is an association Chief Executive, Executive Director or President. We’re here to help amplify their stories so all associations can learn and thrive, together.

If you and your organization have a great story,  apply to be on Associations Thrive!