JOSE ANTONIO TIJERINO is the 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 initiatives reaching millions. Tijerino has led the 28-year-old nonprofit for 14 years and has developed an innovative, sustainable model for Latino leadership and talent for the workforce in 10 “priority” fields leveraging a network of 100,000 vetted students and young professionals. The LOFT (Latinos On Fast Track) leadership and workforce development program he created 10 years ago has been recognized by The White House, Congress,Silicon Valley, Fortune 500 companies and the Mexican government for it’s impact. Tijerino is also co-executive producer of the star-studded Hispanic Heritage Awards, which are considered among the highest honors for Latinos, and TV broadcast.
Before HHF, Tijerino was director of public relations for Fannie Mae Foundation and prior to that manager of corporate communications for Nike Inc.’s, marketing department where he aslo served as a media spokesman. For six years, Tijerino was an executive for powerhouse PR and Public Affairs agenciesBurson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolf in Washington, DC, under parent company Young & Rubicam. Tijerino is active in the community by serving on various boards and committees inlcuding Harvard’s Latino Leadership Initiative at the Kennedy School, National PTA, America’s Promise Alliance, Robert H.Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland, National Building Museum, Imagination Stage, Crittenton Services, Jefferson Awards, Kid Museum, and Hispanic Technology & Telecommunications Partnership, among others. 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 also created the READ (Refugee Enrichment And Development) Project to support the unaccompanied minors at the border. Tijerino was invited to the Renaissance Weekend by the Aspen Institute and recognized by organizations including: the US Army with a civilian award, Outstanding American, Silicon Valley Latino Leadership
Visionary Award, Hispanic Hero Award by US Hispanic Youth Entrepreneurship, Brillante Award byNational Society of Hispanic MBAs, Cesar Chavez Award from US Hispanic Leadership Institute, Telemundo Community Service Award, Lifetime Achievement Award by the National PTA, the prestigious Ohtli Award which is the highest recognition by the Government of Mexico outside of Mexico, and the Maryland Governor’s Community Service Award. Tijerino was also featuring on the cover of Latino Magazine as one of the 10 Who Made a Difference.
In the media, Tijerino has been featured in HBO’s Habla series alongside celebrities and national leaders, was profiled on an hour-long Discovery Channel/TLC program for his work with youth, among others. His articles and blogs have appeared in major publications and social media and he has been featured on radio and TV broadcasts. He also co-authored a white paper on emotional learning for undeserved children and another on building healthy communities through school-based health centers for undeserved 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 in 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.