The Council on Foundations today announced the hiring of two senior executives to help lead the organization. Jesse Salazar will be the new Vice President of Communications, where he will lead the Council’s communications, marketing, and digital strategy efforts. Vicente Rodriguez will be the new Vice President of Member Experience, where he will oversee the Council’s conferences and meetings portfolio.
Salazar is experienced in bipartisan political outreach and coalition building, most recently serving as Vice President of Government Relations and Policy for the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, the country’s largest Hispanic business association. While there, he helped organize the Inaugural White House Hispanic Business Leaders Forum, the Hispanic business community’s immigration reform program, and the organization’s 2012 presidential election efforts. These included a Presidential Candidates Forum with Univision and Miami-Dade College and a major speech by Gov. Mitt Romney. Previously, Salazar served as an appointee of President Obama at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, where he was a Legislative Analyst. Before that, he ran the Lehigh Valley Office of Sen. Robert P. Casey Jr. of Pennsylvania, and he also served as the Senator’s Special Assistant on Latino and LGBT Affairs. In 2006, Governor Edward Rendell appointed him as Commissioner of Latino Affairs for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Salazar earned his M.A. from Princeton University and his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania.
Rodriguez has over two decades of experience in strategic leadership of large-scale conferences and events for member associations, foundations, and nonprofits. Most recently, he served as Senior Program Planning Advisor at the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association where he led the advisory committees responsible for developing nationally recognized conferences and education programs. Additionally he has served as Vice President of Education, Training, and Meetings and the National Association for Homecare & Hospice, Managing Director of United Cerebral Palsy Associates, and Senior Program Officer for Betah Associates. Other highlights from his career include developing and directing the first U.S. Conference on AIDS and the National Skills Building Conference for the National Minority AIDS Council, which have both become known as landmark events. Rodriguez earned his B.S. from George Mason University.
“The Council will benefit tremendously from the leadership of Rodriguez and Salazar, who both have extensive experience as senior leaders of dynamic membership associations,” said Council on Foundations President and CEO Vikki N. Spruill. “With their proven talents for improving member services and representation, they will help us with the implementation of our new network model. They also provide fresh insights in how to advance the common good, having proven track records in developing rural economies, in building winning bipartisan coalitions for advocacy efforts, and in supporting civil rights causes and nonprofits that uplift the dignity of all people.”
The Council on Foundations (www.cof.org), formed in 1949, is a nonprofit membership association of grantmaking foundations and corporations. Members of the Council include more than 1,700 independent, operating, community, public and company-sponsored foundations, and corporate giving programs in the United States and abroad. The Council’s mission is to provide the opportunity, leadership, and tools needed by philanthropic organizations to expand, enhance, and sustain their ability to advance the common good.