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The VNA Foundation staff and Board of Directors are thrilled to share that Alma Rodriguez has accepted the role of Senior Program Officer and Director of Community Engagement.
Alma will be joining VNA in early November prior to Claudia Baier’s retirement in December. Alma brings more than 15 years of experience in the nonprofit and public sector, with expertise in grantmaking, program design, strategic planning, and leadership development. Her most recent role was as the Associate Director for the Office of Welcoming for Refugee and Immigrant Services at the Illinois Department of Human Services. In addition to managing a staff of twelve and overseeing 90 grant contracts, Alma served on the Illinois Immigration Funders Collaborative Steering Committee, which directs funds to organizations serving immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers.
Prior to her role with the state, Alma worked at the Walder Foundation and The Chicago Community Trust, primarily focusing on grantmaking and program development in the areas of immigrant and refugee populations, preventative health care, and health disparities.
“My philanthropic experience has provided me the grounding to understand the importance of timely public health and community development investments that provide individuals with programs and social support to meet their needs. I also understand the importance of seeding and supporting the growth of community-centered organizations and collaboratives who represent the people most impacted by inequities.”
— Alma Rodriguez
Alma holds a master’s degree in urban planning and policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago, and a bachelor’s degree in political science from Northeastern Illinois University. Alma serves as a Steering Committee Member for Chicago Latinos in Philanthropy and is involved with the oversight of Cultivate: Women of Color Leadership Program, which is a one-year program supporting the personal and professional development of women of color leaders engaged in social, economic, and racial justice movements. In the past Alma served on the Boards of Mujeres Latinas en Acción and Chicago Women in Philanthropy.
“Alma’s experience, expertise, and insight will contribute much to VNA Foundation’s work. I am very excited to have her join the team, and all of us look forward to learning from and with Alma in the years to come.”
— Rob DiLeonardi