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Carmen  Ortiz-McGhee

Carmen Ortiz-McGhee

Chief Operating Officer National Association of Investment Companies (NAIC)

Carmen Ortiz-McGhee

Chief Operating Officer National Association of Investment Companies (NAIC)


Trail-blazing Executive. Authentic Leader. Unwavering Advocate. These are just a few of the descriptions that come to mind when describing the emergent and compelling voice of Carmen Ortiz-McGhee. Shaped by her upbringing as the daughter of a single Puerto Rican mother, she offers compelling, inspirational messages on the power of possibility and the opportunity each of us has to bend the arc of the life of another.

At a time where the realities faced by women and People of Color have come squarely onto the national radar, Carmen Ortiz-McGhee has been developing a culture of inclusive leadership throughout her career. From her college days, when she co-founded the University of Virginia Latino Student Admissions Committee, to her advocacy work today in the alternative investment industry, Carmen has always been focused on expanding access for underserved communities. Now, as Chief Operating Officer of the National Association of Investment Companies (NAIC), the trade association for diverse and women-owned private equity firms and hedge funds, Carmen leads all NAIC programs, initiatives, corporate partnerships and key industry alliances. Overseeing a membership of 140 firms, managing over $260 billion in institutional capital, as COO Carmen is also responsible for ensuring operational efficiency and effectiveness across the organization.

Her accomplishments and commitments have not gone unnoticed. She has been recognized by Business Insurance Magazine as one of their Top 25 Women to Watch and contributed to numerous publications, including the Huffington Post, Nonprofit News, Infrastructure Investor and others. Most recently, she has been one of ten people featured in the ground-breaking book: The Lighthouse Effect: How Ordinary People Can Have an Extraordinary Impact in the World. A dynamic presenter, Carmen has spoken for market leading organizations including WorkHuman, The Aspen Institute, The Society for Human Resources Management (SHRM), the National Minority Supplier Development Council, U.S. Department of Commerce Minority Business Development Agency, and many more. Her speaking topics have included: Resilience in Leadership, Leading with Authenticity, The Lighthouse Effect of Leadership, Wealth Creation: The Last Social Justice Frontier, The Wealth Gap in America, Stranger in New Land: Finding Success Wherever You Are. A passionate advocate for the growth and success of women and people of color in business, Carmen offers a new and inspiring vision for how we can all do our part to achieve a more inclusive society.

A proud graduate of the University of Virginia where she receives her BA in Psychology, Carmen sits on the MBA Fund I Investment Committee and the Hispanics in Philanthropy PowerUp Fund Impact Cabinet and is the Governance & Nominating Committee Chair for Communities In Schools national board of directors, a former executive committee member of the NEA Foundation board of directors, and former board chair of New America Alliance.

Speaker Videos

Introduction Video

Lighthouse Values

Arc of a Life

Speech Topics

The Lighthouse Effect: How Ordinary People Can Have an Extraordinary Impact in the World

Throughout life, we experience a number of good and bad times, and learn many lessons, but one that sometimes goes unnoticed is that, “not all heroes wear capes.” There are ordinary people who may not even know they’ve completely changed the course of a person’s life. Ortiz-McGhee, referencing The Lighthouse Effect penned by best-selling author Steve Pemberton, likens them to human lighthouses. Like a lighthouse, their job is to protect the journey of the traveler. They’re humble and steady. They seek no reward. They require no recognition. And yet, we all set our compasses by them. They direct us back to the goodness in each other and in our own hearts.

In this inspirational talk, Ortiz-McGhee, one of the people featured in the The Lighthouse Effect, shares stories of her own human lighthouses. You will meet those who have turned personal pain into possibilities for themselves and those around them. You’ll learn what motivates them, where their compassion comes from and the lessons their lives can offer us. Drawing off of Pemberton’s groundbreaking narrative, Ortiz-McGhee offers a framework for living, learning and leading — a way to more positively engage with one another, to build trust, to see beyond the labels that define us to the human experiences that bond us.

Developing Resilience: The Story of The Not Quite Enough Girl

Growing up as the only daughter of a single Puerto Rican mother in Northern Virginia at a time when the area was far less diverse than it is today, Ortiz-McGhee recounts the challenges and traumas she experienced and the feelings of doubt they left behind. More importantly, she takes audiences on her remarkable journey as she overcomes imposter syndrome and self-doubt to find success and joy in her personal and professional life. A dynamic presenter, Ortiz-McGhee customizes her inspirational presentation to fit a wide-range of audiences from corporate audiences to the non-profit and educational sectors.

Being You: How to Find-and Lead-with Authenticity

Defining authenticity is often challenging and yet we all know when we see it. In this compelling and interactive keynote, Carmen unpacks the origins of authenticity and how we can find it for ourselves. Drawing upon her years in different environments, she shifts the paradigm of understanding on the origins of authenticity starting with The Myths We Tell Ourselves. She then identifies the Five Things we can all start doing today to be our truest selves, for ourselves and for others. Audiences will leave this session renewed and reconnected to their life purpose and mission.

Oh, The Places You’ll Go! Embracing Uncertainty to Find Success Wherever You Go

From selling educational books one summer in Utah to living in Mexico as part of an exchange program, from the nonprofit space to finance and the risk & health sector, to today serving as Chief Operating Officer for a major industry trade association, Carmen Ortiz-McGhee has always found herself in environments that were completely different than what she had previously known. Those experiences taught her valuable lessons that she shares in this captivating keynote inspired by her favorite childhood book, Dr. Seuss’ Oh, The Places You’ll Go! No matter where in one’s career they are, they will glean powerful insights from this presentation that will help audiences find their voice and build their confidence to succeed no matter the environment.

A New Way Forward to Sustaining Equity: Solving the Wealth Conundrum for Diverse Communities

A nation that has long grappled with its rapidly increasing diversity needs a new framework for establishing equity and finding the common good. Carmen Ortiz-McGhee provides that perspective honed from years of successfully creating access and opportunity for underrepresented communities. Those experiences have led her to one powerful conclusion: if we are to move beyond crisis responses on matters of equity we will have to focus on wealth. Carmen leads audiences through solutions that are having real and measurable impact for diverse communities across the country and that have broader implications for the country as a whole.

Empowering Women: The Importance of Self-Love & Uplifting Others

Fewer things have as strong an impact on society as empowered women. This can be elusive because women still find themselves in the shadows in all aspects of their personal and professional lives. When women are able to fulfill their maximum potential and lead with the fullness of their hearts, minds, spirits and intellect, the space around them changes for the better. A passionate champion of women, Carmen Ortiz-McGhee is a powerful and authentic voice on the subject of uplifting them, gleaned from years of advocating for and empowering women. From Giving Yourself Grace, to Battling Imposter Syndrome, From Straightening Your Crown to Finding Your Tribe, Carmen takes audiences through a compelling journey of lessons learned and skills honed to elevating all of the women around them.