Jose Antonio Tijerino is receiving the 2014 Silicon Valley Latino Leadership Visionary Award. Tijerino is president and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF), which inspires, prepares, connects and positions Latino leaders in the classroom, community and workforce to meet America’s priorities. HHF also promotes Latino cultural pride, accomplishment and the great promise of the community through public awareness campaigns and special events seen by millions. He was chosen for this award, because of his leadership and vision. Tijerino has led the award-winning, 27-year-old nonprofit for 12 years and has developed an innovative, sustainable programmatic model for Latino leadership in 10 “priority” industries which features a network of tens of thousands of vetted students and young professionals who he believes are “leaders of today, not tomorrow.” The LOFT (Latinos On Fast Track) program that he developed has been featured as White House Champions of Change and recognized by Congress and Fortune 500 companies for it’s impact. In addition, Tijerino executive-produces the star-studded Hispanic Heritage Awards at the Kennedy Center – which are considered among the highest honors for Latinos by Latinos – and the television broadcasts on FOX, NBC, Telemundo, and Univision.
Prior to this position, Tijerino was director of public relations for the Fannie Mae Foundation and before then served as a manager of corporate communications for Nike, Inc.’s marketing department where he developed and managed communications, public relations and public affairs strategies for global community affairs department and was a media spokesperson. Before Nike, he developed and managed public relations and public affairs campaigns for six years as an executive for Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolf in Washington, DC, under parent company Young & Rubicam.
Tijerino is active in the community by serving on various boards or as an advisor inlcuding Harvard’s Latino Leadership Initiative at the Kennedy School, the National PTA, America’s Promise Alliance, Robert H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, National Building Museum, Imagination Stage, Latin American Advisory Group (LAAG) to the Montgomery County Executive, Crittenton Services, and Hispanic Technology & Telecommunications Partnership. He is also on the Leadership Council for the University of Maryland’s Center For the History of the New America and he co-founded The American Project with Notre Dame University, which is a faith-based, youth-led movement to treat immigrants with dignity. He was invited to participate in the prestigious Renaissance Weekend alongside top leaders in America, recognized by the US Army for his work as a civilian, honored as an Outstanding Young American, Silicon Valley Latino Leadership Visionary Leadership Award, Hispanic Hero by US Hispanic Youth Entrepreneurship, was a Brillante Award recipient by National Society of Hispanic MBAs, and Cesar Chavez Award from the United States Hispanic Leadership Institute, among others.
In the media, Tijerino has been featured in HBO’s Habla series alongside celebrities and national leaders; was a panelist for CNN’s Latinos in America; and was profiled on an hour-long Discovery Channel/TLC program for his work with youth, and his articles and blogs have appeared in major publications and social media. He has also been featured on radio and TV broadcasts. He runs a blog on Huffington Post and co-authored a white paper on emotional learning for underserved children and another on building healthy communities through school-based health centers for underserved populations. As a speaker he has made remarks from the White House to top colleges to corporate headquarters to communities across America. He was also featured as a speaker for the TED Talk series.
Tijerino earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland’s school of journalism and later was awarded a Doctorate of Humane Letters from The Chicago School. He lives in the Greater Washington, DC, area with his family.