mission & history

Serve. Lead. Now.

The mission of Latinos LEAD (Latinos for Leadership Excellence And Diversity) is to prepare and recruit Latino leaders for nonprofit governing board service. Pursuing this mission advances Latino professional and community development, improves charitable sector outcomes, and contributes to a better quality of life for all Americans.

Latinos LEAD was founded in April 2017 following comprehensive strategic planning, needs assessment, and input from a national network of Latino leaders and nonprofit executives.  This process informed the Latinos LEAD theory of change, which led to the development of three pilot programs:

During its demonstration phase (through 2022), Latinos LEAD is focusing on those Southern California nonprofits that have a high degree of impact on the Latino community, but are led by governing boards that do not reflect the Latino communities they serve. Targeted nonprofit sector fields include: Arts & Culture, Environment & Conservation, Health & Human Services, and K-12+ (after-school and school-based programming).

In September 2018, Latinos LEAD established a national Executive Advisory Council (EAC) of prominent leaders and experts in education, philanthropy, and the private sector.  The EAC was instrumental in framing and achieving initial strategic goals. During 2018 and 2019, Latinos LEAD began implementing these pilot programs, began a brand awareness communications initiative, and launched the development of an extensive data management system that includes more than 6,000 individuals and organizations.

By early 2021, the founding board of directors had evolved to a more institutional growth profile; its newest members include Belen Bernal, Executive Director at Nature for All; Geoff Green, CEO at the Santa Barbara City College Foundation; and, Richard Vazquez, Founder & CEO of Fintegy Consulting, LLC.

mean and women being photograph after Latinos LEAD workshop
Ready to LEAD cohort December 2019