Mark A. Puente is the Director of Diversity and Leadership Programs at the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), a position he’s held since March of 2009. In this role, Puente directs all aspects of the Association’s diversity, equity, inclusion, and leadership development programs, and serves as the ARL staff liaison to the ARL Committee on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Puente designs and administers numerous programs that seek to recruit people of color into careers in academic and research libraries and archives. He directs, and serves on the faculty of or serves on advisory groups to numerous leadership development programs such as the ARL Leadership Fellows Program, the ARL Leadership and Career Development Program, the Association of Academic Health Sciences Libraries’ Leadership Fellows Program, the Archives Leadership Institute, and the Southeastern Museum Conference Leadership Institute. A frequent clinician, speaker, facilitator, and writer, Puente also works with numerous organizations (i.e. library, archive, museum, K-12 education) on strategies for accelerating change in organizational culture, inclusion in the workplace, strategic planning, racial equity, diversity recruitment and retention, organizational climate, and numerous other topics. Puente has worked extensively with organizations and institutions across the United States and Canada and has presented internationally. He is a past participant of the ALA Spectrum Scholarship Leadership Institute, the Minnesota Institute for Early Career Librarians, and the Leadership Institute for Academic Librarians.
Puente’s career in libraries included positions at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, the University of North Texas, and the University of Arizona. Mr. Puente is a graduate of the Knowledge River Program at the School of Information Resources and Library Science (now iSchool) at the University of Arizona. The program seeks to recruit Latinos/Hispanics and Native Americans into the field of librarianship. He earned a Master of Arts in Music (voice) from Stephen F. Austin State University and a Bachelor’s degree in vocal performance from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, TX. Prior to entering the library profession, Puente was an applied voice instructor in his hometown of San Antonio for 13 years and also worked in opera administration in Texas and Arkansas.