JOSE ANTONIO TIJERINO is the President and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation (HHF) focuses on education, workforce, leadership and public awareness. HHF also promotes Latino cultural pride, accomplishment and the great promise of the community through creative campaigns and initiatives reaching millions as well as conducts research focused on Latino youth. Tijerino has led the 29-year-old nonprofit for 16 years and has developed an ecosystem of over 100,000 vetted students and young professionals (ages 15-35) ready to lead America forward in various fields. The LOFT (Latinos On Fast Track) he created 12 years ago has been recognized by The White House, US Congress, Silicon Valley, Fortune 500 companies and Mexican government. Tijerino is also the executive producer of the star-studded Hispanic Heritage Awards, which are considered among the highest honors for Latinos, and of the TV broadcast, currently broadcast on PBS. Prior to HHF, Tijerino worked as public relations director at Fannie Mae Foundation, marketing/public relations manager and as a spokesperson for Nike, and an executive at PR firms Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe under Young & Rubicam umbrella. He also waited tables at restaurants which he considers the most important training for the rest of his career.
Tijerino is active in the community by serving on various boards inlcuding Harvard’s Latino Leadership Initiative at the Kennedy School, the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business, RISE, National Building Museum, National PTA, El Rey Diversity Board, Consejo Sano, Kid Museum, among others.
He has been honored with the the prestigious Ohtli Award, which is the highest recognition by the Government of Mexico outside of Mexico; the Lifetime Achievement Award by the National PTA; the Vision Award by the Silicon Valley Latino Leadership; Brillante Award by NSHMBA; Leadership Award from Telemundo; civilian award by the US Army; Community Service Award by the Governor of Maryland; Cesar Chavez Award by NHLI; and the Digital Equality Award from MMTC, among others.
Tijerino was featured on the cover of Latino Magazine as one of 10 Who Made a Difference, on HBO’s Habla Series, and on an an hour-long Discovery Channel/TLC program for his work with youth, has presented a TED Talk, and attends convenings at the Aspen Institute and White House with national thought leaders. His articles and blogs appear in major publications and social media blogs and is a spokesperson and advocate on Latino and educational issues in the media. 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.