Dahiana Duarte-Pena, A15 of Leominster, MA

Candidate to represent the School of Arts & Sciences on the Alumni Council.

STATEMENT: I grew up in a middle-class town in central MA, moving predominantly within a Latin American microcosm that my family and friends created. We were brought up ESL (English as a Second Language) and married our traditions with American ones as needed. This cultural marriage was a blessing but also stressful. Two topics we avoided talking about because we didn’t have them were money and papers (i.e., citizenship) – they made a college education seem a far-away dream but one to which I was committed.

Because of my circumstance, I developed an overwhelming desire at a young age to break through barriers. My younger sister Angie has severe disabilities, and while my parents built a humble life for us, I realized at age 12 that they didn’t have access to what they needed to one day stop working. When the time came, I chose Tufts as the best school with a strong social mission where I could feel like myself. Tufts brought me mobility and access to a community that seemed ephemeral so many years ago. Without Tufts, I wouldn’t have found my way into my dream job in FinTech innovation, working at a community bank developing products that can improve lives for business owners and individuals.

My why: The Tufts community is close to my heart. It's where I met the most supportive people in my life and where I accessed tools that led to social mobility. I am grateful and indebted to the Tufts community, and this is my north star for wanting to serve on the Alumni Council. The second reason is because I want to create meaningful opportunities for alumni to engage, interact, and create a stronger, more valuable community.

My vision: I want Tufts to be a school whose alumni jump at the opportunity to talk about how impactful it has been and continues to be in their lives. The excitement is there, but I believe the passion can become stronger. I will help create more incentives for Jumbos to engage and build more meaningful moments / interactions for each other (even those that don’t see themselves as prototypical alums). My vision is for an alumni community that holds more weight and engages more often for both joy and networking purposes. The more its leveraged, the more powerful the network will become (community building 101).

I am active with the Tufts Admissions Office, Career Center, and academic departments (Economics, International Relations), but yearn to do more. I am that alumna with elephant graphics on her laptop, encouraging high schoolers to look at Tufts because it can change their lives like it did mine.

What I bring: I will bring a high level of optimism, creativity, and a knack for engaging people to the Tufts Alumni Council:

  • I do this every day in my job: as VP of Innovation at Eastern Bank, a 200-year-old bank, I have engaged 70% of employees to submit ideas to improve the bank.
  • I’ve already done this for the Tufts and NESCAC alumni communities. At my job at State Street, one of the world’s largest banks, I co-founded a network of over 300 active Tufts / NESCAC alumni, creating robust programs from scratch that are still up and running today, 4 years post-my departure.
  • Innovating is as much about grit and execution as it is about iterating, listening, and building better experiences. As co-chair of the LatinX employee network at Eastern, I also launched spotlight portfolios to showcase amazing talent which got 12 departments talking, networking, and engaging our members. I also launched the highest-demand programming that attracted over half the bank, making us the most active network at Eastern and most diverse.
  • Through my work co-founding Alumni networks from scratch and my day-to-day work launching digital products and spinning out startups / FinTech products, I’ve understood keenly the power of engagement, interactions, and how to create value to attract people of all backgrounds, and that’s what I’ll work with my future fellow council members to do for Tufts Alumni.

Vote for me! I will bring these skills to the Council to strengthen the Tufts Alumni Community, drawing more engagement and value for all members, regardless of where they are in the world or their backgrounds. I’ve learned how to be scrappy with simple tools all my life and will apply what I’ve learned as a member of the Alumni Council. Vote for me, and I’ll use my powers to bring good to you, too! GO ‘BOS!


  • BA Economics, BA International Finance, Tufts University School of Arts & Sciences, 2015
  • MBA, MS, Digital Innovation, Boston University, Expected 2022


  • Vice President & FinTech Product Development Manager at Eastern Bank, Boston, MA


  • Product Manager at Harry’s Inc., New York, NY
  • Senior Associate, Professional Development Program at State Street Corporation, Boston, MA


  • Post grad:
    • Conference speaker, panelist, and student mentor, Tufts Career Center, 2019 – Present
    • Alumni interviewer, Tufts Admissions, 2015 – Present
    • 5th year reunion speaker / toast giver for Class of 2015, 2020
    • Conference speaker, panelist, student mentor, Tufts Career Center, 2019 – Present
    • Tufts Alumni Network Co-founder & Chair at State Street Corporation, 2015 - 2017
    • Alumni Interviewer, Tufts Admissions, 2015 – Present
  • At Tufts:
    • Sigma Iota Rho International Relations Honor Society
    • Tufts Admissions Office
    • Spanish Language Culture House & Spanish TA, 2014 – 2015
    • Tufts Timmy Guatemala & BUILD Nicaragua, 2012 – 2013
    • ESL Counselor via Tufts University Conference Bureau, 2012


  • Board Member, Invest in Girls (provides financial literacy in minority communities), 2020
  • Co-chair, Latinos in Action at Eastern Bank, 2018 – Present
  • Co-chair & founder, Latino Employee Network at Harry’s Inc., 2017 – 2018
  • Founder & chair, NESCAC & Tufts Alumni Networks at State Street Corporation, 2015 – 2017
  • Fundraising Committee Member, Partners for Youth with Disabilities, 2015 – 2017
Dahiana Duarte, A15 photo