JOSE ANTONIO TIJERINO is president and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, a national nonprofit focused on education, workforce, social impact, and culture through innovative leadership. Under Tijerino, HHF is recognized as a creative, agile, impact-focused organization which has been honored by The White House, US Congress, Fortune 500 companies, other nonprofits, and even the Government of Mexico. Tijerino is also executive producer of the Hispanic Heritage Awards at the Kennedy Center, which are broadcast on PBS.
Tijerino was also an executive at Fannie Mae Found, Nike, Burson Marsteller, and Cohn & Wolfe.
Tijerino was honored with the “Ohtli Award,” which is the highest honor by government of Mexico; “Lifetime Achievement Award” by National PTA; Hispanics in Philanthropy “Giver Award;” “Vision Award” by Silicon Valley Latino Leadership; MALDEF “Human Rights Award;” Telemundo’s “Community Service Award;” “Civilian Impact Award” by US Army; “Brillante Award” by NSHMBA; “Digital Hero Award” by MMTC; “Cesar Chavez Award” by NHLI: in the Greater Washington Hall of Fame; among others and recognized as one of the top Latino leaders by several publications.
Tijerino has served on various boards and committees inlcuding Harvard’s Latino Leadership Initiative at the Kennedy School; University System of Maryland Foundation; HHTP; National Girls Collaborative; America’s Promise Alliance; Games for Change; CSforAll; KID Museum; Notre Dame’s Exoneration Justice Clinic; Nielsen’s Latino Advisory Counsel; a commissioner for America 250; Equity and Accountability Council for Coca-Cola; Disney’s Community Advisory Committee; and the FCC’s Communications Equity and Diversity Council (CEDC), among others.
As a proud immigrant from Nicaragua, Tijerino help found the Hispanic Leaders Alliance (HLA) with the NFL; the American Project; #WeDreamAmerica campaign; #Masks4Farmworkers, which provided more than 2 million masks for farmworkers during the pandemic; READ (Refugee Education And Development); DREAM LEAD Institute for DACA recipients; and a Maker Academy for educators; and helped produce the Oyeme! Project with Imagination Stage portraying the plight of unacompanied minors. Tijerino also helped develop and is featured in the first ever Latinx-themed game with Minecraft where he is a featured character; anti-hate tool kit with Nickelodeon; Code as a Second Language (CSL) which has introduced 100,000 youth to coding; among other programs.
He was recognized by FWD.US for his work with migrant families on the border including his support of the Humanitarian Respite Center in McAllen, TX, and has helped build a center on the Mexico side; cofounded the LOFT (Latinos On Fast Track) Insitute for hundreds of Latinx youth in partnership with Trinity University and Fortune 500 companies.
Tijerino is designated as an Influencer on LinkedIn and selected as “Top 10 Voices on Diversity, Equity & Includsion,” and his blogs and media presensence have made him a national voice on various issues including diversity, identity, immigration, creativity and youth action. He also hosts a podcast with Tik Tok called Fritanga and is known for creating the term “Impatient Activism.”
Tijerino earned a BS degree from the University of Maryland’s school of journalism, and honored with a Doctorate of Humane Letters from The Chicago School. He is a Salinas Fellow at the Aspen Institute and lives in Washington, DC.