Jose Antonio Tijerino

Keynote Speaker

JOSE ANTONIO TIJERINO is president and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation, which focuses on education, workforce, leadership, and culture through service and innovation.  Under Tijerino, HHF is recognized as a creative, agile, impact-focused organization boasting a network of vetted 15-35 year-old Latinos mobilized in the tech and STEM fields, entrepreneurship, finance, media, advocacy, and other priorities for America.  Tijerino also serves as executive producer of the star-studded Hispanic Heritage Awards at the Kennedy Center, which are broadcast on PBS stations.  HHF’s dynamic programs have been recognized by The White House, US Congress, Fortune 500 companies, other nonprofits, and the Government of Mexico.

Prior to HHF, Tijerino was an executive at Fannie Mae Foundation, Nike, and Burson-Marsteller and Cohn & Wolfe under the Young & Rubicam umbrella. 

Beyond his work with HHF, as a proud immigrant from Nicaragua, Tijerino co-founded The American Project to treat immigrants with dignity; #Mask4Farmworkers campaign during the COVID-19 crisis; #WeDreamAmerica Campaign including a video he co-produced of the national anthem performed by a Grammy-nominated band to promote the patriotism of immigrants; co-founded the DREAM Lead Institute with Trinity University, a leadership institute exclusively for DACA recipients; helped produce the Oyeme! Project with Imagination Stage, a play about the plight of unaccompanied minors; founded the READ (Refugee Education And Development) effort; and has worked extensively in support of refugee families on the border, for which he was recognized by FWD.US, MALDEF, Government of Mexico, and others. 

Tijerino’s blogs and media presence have made him a national voice on various issues including diversity, immigration, creativity, and youth empowerment.  He attended the Aspen Institute’s Ideas Festival and is an Aspen Salinas Fellow; currently serves on Disney’s Community Advisory Board; Nielsen’s Latino Advisory Council, among others.  Tijerino co-founded the Hispanic Leaders Alliance with the NFL, and Latino Magazine featured him on their cover a “Latino Who Make a Difference.”

Tijerino has been honored with the prestigious Ohtli Award, which is the highest recognition by the Government of Mexico outside of Mexico; Lifetime Achievement Award by National PTA; Vision Award by Silicon Valley Latino Leadership; Brillante Award by National Society of Hispanic MBAs; Leadership Award from Telemundo; Army Strong Civilian Award by the US Army; Community Service Award by the Governor of Maryland; Cesar Chavez Award by the National Hispanic Leadership Institute; Champion of Digital Equity Award by the Multi-Cultural Telecom & Internet Council (MMTC); Vision Award by the American Latino Museum; the Bravo Award for Public Service; Service Award by the Greater Washington Chamber of Commerce; New Futures Award; and the MALDEF Award for Service, the Ana G. Mendez Presidential Medal, AT&T’s Humanity Award, among others.

Tijerino has served on various boards and committees including Harvard’s Latino Leadership Initiative at the Kennedy School; University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business; Nielsen’s Latino Advisory Counsel; University System of Maryland; America’s Promise Alliance; Latino Jewish Leadership Council; KID Museum; National Girls Collaborative; Imagination Stage; Crittenton Services; Army’s SAY (Strengthen America’s Youth) Committee; Creative Thread Foundation; National Building Museum, and Center for the History of the New America, among others.  

Tijerino earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Maryland’s School of Journalism and was honored with a Doctorate of Humane Letters from The Chicago School.  Tijerino lives in Washington, DC, with his family.

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