• Biographical Description

  • Mike Cortés is Scholar in Residence and Special Community Member at the DU Graduate School of Social Work, where he previously served on the faculty and taught graduate courses in public policy analysis and social policy advocacy.  His continuing research interests include (1) income security and care for disabled Latino elders, (2) policy analysis and advocacy by public charities, and (3) improvement of policy practice curricula in schools of social work. 

    Mike's previous faculty and administrative appointments have been at the University of Colorado Denver, the University of San Francisco, and the University of California, Berkeley. 

    Today, Mike spends most of his time volunteering for nonprofit organizations.  Formerly a member of the board of directors of the Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy, and Research Organization (CLLARO), he now volunteers as executive director.  CLLARO is a non-profit organization in Denver established in 1964 to help Latinos in Colorado solve problems facing their communities.  Until 2007, CLLARO was known as the Latin American Research and Service Agency (LARASA). 

    Mike also chairs the Denver Commission on Aging.  His past public and community service activities have included serving on the AARP National Policy Council in Washington, D.C., the board of directors of the Center for Lobbying in the Public Interest in Washington, D.C., and several other boards of directors, advisory committees, and government commissions in various communities and states across the nation.

    Mike began his career in 1971 as a community organizer, and later returned to school to study public policy analysis.  In the 1970s, Mike was Vice-President for Research, Advocacy, and Legislation at the National Council of la Raza (now called Unidos US) in Washington, D.C.  Mike led creation of La Raza's public policy program, which today advocates for Latinos in Washington, state capitols, and local communities in the areas of civic engagement, civil rights and immigration, education, workforce and the economy, health, and housing. CLLARO is one of 272 local nonprofit agencies and community development corporations affiliated with Unidos US throughout the nation.  

    In the early 1980s, Mike was Director of Planning, Finance, and Administration in the Corporate Community Affairs Department at Levi Strauss & Co. and the Levi Strauss Foundation in San Francisco.  There, he was a founding member of Hispanics in Philanthropy, an association of staff and trustees of private foundations and corporate contributions programs, now promoting philanthropy by and for Latinos throughout the U.S.  

    Mike is a native of the San Francisco Bay Area.  He earned the M.P.P. and Ph.D. degrees in public policy at the University of California at Berkeley, and the M.S.W. with a specialty in community practice and social action at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor.

  • Curriculum Vitae

  • Cort├ęs CV

  • Behind the CV--A Personal Account

  • Organizations of Interest

  • "Knowing is not enough; we must apply.  

    Willing is not enough; we must do."  


  • Colorado Latino Leadership, Advocacy, & Research Organization (CLLARO)


  • AARP Public Policy Institute


  • Colorado Participation Project


  • University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work


  • Hispanics in Philanthropy (San Francisco)


  • UnidosUS (Washington, DC)

    formerly the National Council of la Raza (Washington, DC)


  • Levi Strauss Foundation (San Francisco)


  • Center for Community Change (Washington, DC)


  • Selected Publications

  • Nonprofits and Information Technology: Emerging Research for Usable Knowledge, edited with Kevin M. Rafter (Chicago: Lyceum, 2007).


    Nonprofits and Information Technology: Emerging Research for Usable Knowledge, edited with Kevin M. Rafter (Chicago: Lyceum, 2007). 

  • Introduction to Nonprofits & Information Technology

    Nonprofits and Information Technology: Emerging Research for Usable Knowledge, edited with Kevin M. Rafter (Chicago: Lyceum). 

  • “Questions About Hispanics and Fundraising,” New Directions in Philanthropic Fundraising, no. 37 (Fall, 2003): 45-54.

  • “Fostering Philanthropy and Service in U.S. Latino Communities,” in Philanthropy in Communities of Color: Traditions and Challenges, ed. Pier C. Rogers (Indianapolis: Association for Research on Nonprofit Organizations and Voluntary Action, 2001), pp. 11-24.

  • “Do Hispanic Nonprofits Foster Hispanic Philanthropy?,” New Directions in Philanthropic Fundraising, no. 24 (Summer, 1999): 31-40.

  • "Latino Nonprofit Organizations: A Statistical Profile,” in Nuevos Senderos: Reflections on Hispanics and Philanthropy, ed. Diana Campoamor, William A. Díaz and Henry A.J. Ramos (Houston: University of Houston/Arte Público, 1999), pp. 17-77.

  • "Counting Latino Nonprofits: A New Strategy for Finding Data," Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly 27 (December, 1998): 437-458.

  • "Public Policy Partnerships between Universities and Communities," National Civic Review 87 (Summer, 1998): 163-168.

  • "Three Strategic Questions About Latino Philanthropy," New Directions in Philanthropic Fundraising, no. 8 (Summer, 1995): 23-40.

  • "Philanthropy and Latinos: A Research Agenda," in Hispanics and the Independent Sector, ed. Herman Gallegos and Michael O’Neill  (New York: Foundation Center, 1991), pp.139-159.

  • Handicapped Migrant Farm Workers: Characteristics of Disabled Migratory and Seasonal Agricultural Workers and their Families, Impact of the State/Federal Vocational Rehabilitation Program, and Strategies for Expanding Services, U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, Rehabilitation Services Administration, publication no. DHEW (OHD) 75-25084 (Washington, D.C.: Government Printing Office,1974).

  • Current Research Interests

    • Population trends affecting income security and care for disabled Latino elders.
    • Building nonprofits’ capacity for policy analysis and advocacy.
    • Improving policy analysis curricula in schools of social work.

This portfolio last updated: 04-Jan-2022 6:13 PM