Claudia’s face shines with optimism. She was 11 when her family left Peru to join her maternal grandfather for opportunities in the United States. Her grandfather had lived apart from his family for many years while he worked to earn his U.S. citizenship; he was ambitious and driven to make a better life for his family and future generations.
When they arrived in Arlington, Claudia and her parents rented an affordable apartment in Buchanan Gardens, off Columbia Pike, and then moved to nearby Columbia Gardens where her parents still live. Claudia was thrown into an English speaking school and a culturally unfamiliar environment. But she made friends easily, thrived in school, and loved everything about Arlington. After high school, Claudia went to James Madison University, majoring in Public Policy & Administration, but came back to Arlington after graduation to start her career in public service.
Claudia is a natural for Capitol Hill, with her interest in social issues and food and nutrition policy. She worked for U.S. Representative Jim Costa from California as a Legislative Assistant for four years and now works for Conagra Brands’ Governmental Affairs team on legislation impacting the $8 billion company that owns brands such as Marie Callender’s, Healthy Choice and Reddi Whip. Claudia is widely viewed as a young professional to watch and was selected to participate in the prestigious University of Virginia Sorensen Institute for Political Leadership. Claudia has big plans to make a difference.
Claudia and her husband of five years bought their first home – a townhouse – in Alexandria because they could not afford to purchase in Arlington. And while they love their home, they hope soon to live in Arlington where cultural diversity and inclusion are valued. Claudia loves Arlington’s ethnic restaurants and festivals, its excellent public education and the warmth of its citizens. She envisions raising her own family in Arlington and is working hard to make that a reality.