Jose Antonio Tijerino


President and CEO, Hispanic Heritage Foundation

Biographical Sketch

Jose Antonio Tijerino is president and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF), which identifies, inspires, prepares and positions Latino leaders in the classroom, community and workforce to meet America’s priorities. Mr. Tijerino has led the 25-year-old organization for 10 years and has developed a sustainable model to “help a Latino help hundreds more.” He has also focused on promoting role models and projecting a more positive image of Latinos through public awareness campaigns. Tijerino and HHF have been highlighted by Presidents Bush and Obama as making a positive impact on the Latino community.

The unique pipeline he has developed for HHF begins at the prestigious Youth Awards which feeds other youth programs including Latinos on Fast Track (LOFT) – a leadership and workforce development program which houses the LOFT Institute, LOFT Workforce and LOFTNetwork.org, an online community for 100,000 vetted students and young professionals (aged 18-30). After being prepared through the LOFT Institute, placed in internships, mentorships and full-time positions through LOFT Workforce and connected to each other through LOFTnetwork.org, the emerging Latino leaders are mobilized to make an impact in communities, classrooms and the workforce. In addition, Tijerino executive produces the star-studded Hispanic Heritage Awards at the Kennedy Center, which are considered the most respected honor for Latinos by Latinos, and the television broadcasts which have aired on NBC, Telemundo, and the Armed Forces Network.

Prior to this position, Mr. Tijerino was director of public relations for the Fannie Mae Foundation, specializing in strategic planning, public affairs, media outreach and grass roots mobilization campaigns for America’s largest affordable housing nonprofit. Before that, he served as a manager of corporate communications for Nike, Inc.’s marketing department where he developed, managed and implemented communications, public relations and public affairs strategies for the company’s global community affairs department and served as a media spokesperson. Before joining Nike, Mr. Tijerino 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 including Harvard’s Latino Leadership Initiative in the Kennedy School, America’s Promise Alliance, The Chicago School, National Building Museum, Imagination Stage, Latin American Advisory Group (LAAG) to Montgomery County Executive, Crittenton Services, Voto Latino, among others. He has been recognized as a Latino leader by Presidents Obama and Bush and was invited to participate in the prestigious Renaissance Weekend alongside top leaders in America. Tijerino was also recognized for his work as a civilian by the US Army. He was recognized as an Outstanding Young American, as a Hispanic Hero by the US Hispanic Youth Entrepreneurship, and Brillante Award by National Society of Hispanic MBAs, among others.

In the media, Tijerino has been featured in HBO’s Habla series alongside celebrities and national leaders aired during Hispanic Heritage Month; was a panelist for CNN’s Latino in America premiere; and was profiled on an hour-long Discovery Channel/TLC program for his work with youth; and his articles have appeared in major publications. Tijerino has been featured as a spokesperson on Latino issues relating to education and leadership in the national media including NBC, FOX, ABC, Univision, Telemundo and CNN. He also recently co-wrote a white paper on the importance of emotional learning for underserved children. As a speaker he has made remarks everywhere from the White House to Harvard to community centers across America.

Tijerino earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland’s school of journalism and an Honorary Doctorate from The Chicago School. He lives in Chevy Chase, MD, with his wife and three children.