Jose Antonio Tijerino

Jose Antonio Tijerino is the President and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF), a national nonprofit focused on education, workforce, social impact, and culture through leadership, which he describes as a “malleable mission.”  Under Tijerino, HHF is recognized as a creative, agile, impact-focused organization that has been honored by The White House, the U.S. Congress, Fortune 500 companies, other nonprofits, and even the Government of Mexico. Tijerino is also the executive producer of the Hispanic Heritage Awards at the Kennedy Center. Before this, Tijerino was an executive at the Fannie Mae Foundation, Nike, Burson Marsteller, and Cohn & Wolfe.

Tijerino was honored with the “Ohtli Award,” which is the highest honor by the government of Mexico; “The Lifetime Achievement Award” by the National PTA; the Hispanics in Philanthropy “Giver Award;” “The Vision Award” by Silicon Valley Latino Leadership; MALDEF “Human Rights Award;” Telemundo’s “Community Service Award;” “Civilian Impact Award” by U.S. Army; “Brillante Award” by NSHMBA; “Digital Hero Award” by MMTC; “Cesar Chavez Award” by NHLI; and in the Greater Washington Hispanic Business Hall of Fame; among others.

Tijerino has served and serves on various boards and committees, including Harvard’s Latino Leadership Initiative at the Kennedy School; University System of Maryland Foundation; HHTP (Hispanic Technology & Telecommunications Partnership); National Girls Collaborative; America’s Promise Alliance; Games for Change; CSforAll; KID Museum; Notre Dame’s Exoneration Justice Clinic; Nielsen’s Latino Advisory Counsel; Crittenton Services; Equity and Accountability Council for Coca-Cola; Disney’s Community Advisory Committee; and the FCC’s Communications Equity and Diversity Council (CEDC);  Coca-Cola’s Equity & Accountability Council, among others.

As a proud immigrant from Nicaragua, Tijerino helped found the Hispanic Leaders Alliance (HLA) with the NFL, the American Project, the #WeDreamAmerica campaign, #Masks4Farmworkers, which provided more than 2 million masks for farmworkers during the pandemic, READ (Refugee Education And Development), the DREAM LEAD Institute for DACA recipients, a “Maker Academy” for educators and helped produce the Oy me! Project with Imagination Stage, portraying the plight of migrants.

Tijerino hosts the Fritanga Podcast to provide Latino culture, unity, perspective, information, and inspiration with guests ranging from celebrities to policymakers to opinion leads. Tijerino also helped develop and is featured as a character in the first-ever Latinx-themed game with Minecraft, which was produced and co-founded with Nickelodeon. He also co-founded the Code as a Second Language (CSL) initiative, which has introduced 100,000 youth to coding, among other programs.

FWD.US recognized him for his work with migrant families on the border, including his support of the Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, TX. Tijerino co-founded LOFT (Latinos On Fast Track), an institute for hundreds of Latinx youth in partnership with Trinity University and Fortune 500 companies.

Tijerino is designated as an “Influencer” on LinkedIn and was selected as one of the “Top Voices on Diversity, Equity & Inclusion” on the platform. His blogs and media presence have made him a national voice on various issues, including DEIA, identity, immigration, creativity, and calls to action, and he has been tagged with the term “Impatient Activism.”

Tijerino earned a B.S. from the University of Maryland’s School of Journalism and was honored with a Doctorate of Humane Letters from the Chicago School of Law. He is a Salinas Fellow at the Aspen Institute and lives in Washington, DC.