Dr. Laura Murillo
In 2007, Dr. Laura Murillo was named President and CEO of the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Under her leadership, the Chamber has set unprecedented records in membership and revenue, becoming one of the most influential Chambers in the nation. Just two years after taking the helm, Murillo, her Board of Directors, and dedicated staff won the National and Regional Hispanic Chamber of the Year Award from the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. Throughout her exceptional leadership of the Chamber, the organization has continued to receive recognition—including Marketer of the Year by the American Marketing Association three times, and two Diversity in Business Awards from the Houston Business Journal—a clear testament to her exceptional leadership.
Dr. Murillo is the Founding President and CEO of the Greater Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation. During her tenure, the Emerging Leaders Institute was established and has celebrated over three hundred graduates. She is the Founding Executive Producer/Host of the Chamber’s radio and television programs on CBS (KHOU 11 and QuestTEXAS), Audacy, Univision, and the KUBE-57 (with a cumulative audience reach of 3.3 million). She is also a commentator on national media outlets.
She holds a B.A., a Master’s Degree, and a Doctorate from the University of Houston, where she served as an Executive for fifteen years and became the youngest Director in UH history. The University of Houston bestowed its highest honor, the President’s Medallion, to the Chamber and Dr. Murillo. Prior to her current role, she served as an Executive at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center for seven years and served on the CEO’s Executive Committee, where she was accountable for a $300 million budget, 500+ employees, and ten departments.
In 2021, she was admitted into the Harvard University Women on Corporate Boards Executive Program.
She was named Texas CEO Magazine’s Top 30 Texas CEOs during COVID-19 for exceptional leadership in 2020, and was featured in Global Influence Magazine’s Championing the Success of Women in the Workplace. In 2018, she was named Houston Business Journal’s “Most Admired CEO”, “Distinguished Alumni Award” by the University of Houston, and “Mother of the Year” by the Houston Latin American Philharmonic. She has received many state, national, and international honors including being named among the “Most Powerful & Influential Women in Texas” and the “Top Latino Leader Award” by the National Diversity Council, 2017 “Power 25 Houston Award” by Walker’s Legacy, “Woman of the Year” by Success Magazine, the “International Leadership Award” by Texas Women’s Empowerment Foundation, CKW LUXE “Top 20 Impact Maker Honoree”, the “Outstanding Community Service Award” by the Hispanic Bar Association of Houston, the “Global Impact Award” by Global Seven, the 2019 Civil Liberties & Justice Award, and “SSLW 2020 Women in History Honoree” by Suburban Sugar Land Women.
Dr. Murillo was featured in the Houston Chronicle’s 2016 “Women Who Run Houston” article, and was named as ”Outstanding Service Honoree” by the Mexican-American Bar Association of Texas Foundation. The National MBA Organization honored her with the “Excellence Award” and D-mars.com named her as an “Icon Honoree.” She was also named “Top 10 Who’s Who in Business” and has been named among the “Top 5 C-Suite CEOs” by the Houston Business Journal. In 2014, she was honored with the “Hispanic Leadership Award” by the National Football League (NFL).
The Ohtli Award—the highest honor bestowed by the Mexican government to a Mexican American—was awarded to Dr. Murillo for her advocacy and civic leadership in 2016. She has been included at several U.S. Presidential Inaugurations and most recently accepted an inaugural invitation from Mexico’s President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador. Several Houston mayors have included Dr. Murillo on international business delegations to Brazil, Turkey, China, Mexico, Cuba, Argentina, Peru, Chile, and other countries.
Dr. Murillo is the first Houstonian to be appointed to the Washington, DC Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System Community Advisory Council (CAC), which has national public policy implications. Additionally, she serves on the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Business and Community Advisory Council, the Houston BBVA Board of Directors, the University of Houston Board of Advisors, the University of Houston College of Medicine Committee, the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors, Port Houston’s (The International Port of Texas) Business Equity Founding Advisory Council, the Texas Southern University Chairman and President’s Council, the Mayor’s Hispanic Advisory Board, Avangard Corporation Board of Directors, Mayor’s Hire Houston Board, Co-Chair for the Harris County International Committee, the Harris County-Houston Sports Authority Executive Committee, the Houston Super Bowl Committee, the Houston Symphony Advisory Board, , the Greater Houston Convention & Visitors Bureau Board, the Kinder Institute’s Kinder Houston Area Survey Advisory Board, the Friends of the American Latino Museum Committee, St. John’s School Audit & Finance Committee, the U.S. Global Leadership Coalition’s Advisory Committee, the Houston Stronger Coalition, the 2026 World Cup Bid Committee, the Mayor’s Task Force on Policing Reform, and Rice Management Company, Workforce Development.
The youngest of nine children, Laura Murillo was born to Mexican immigrant parents and was raised in Houston’s East End/Magnolia, where she began working at age ten at her family’s restaurant. She is the proud mother of Marisa and Mia, both honors graduates of St. John’s School in River Oaks. Marisa earned a mechanical engineering degree from Columbia University in New York City and is an Astrophysics Researcher. Mia is a sophomore at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C.