Rafael is a proven and inclusive leader, manager and advocate driven by his core values of justice, collaboration, accountability, balance, respect, trust and innovation. Over the years, he has worked and organized in the nonprofit, government, service and philanthropic fields. This multisector experience has gifted him the skill to develop and maintain relationships with individuals from diverse disciplines and backgrounds for purposes of realizing common objectives, social impact, equity and community/systems change.
Rafael serves as Interim President & CEO of Grand Performances whose mission is to inspire community, celebrate diversity, and unite Los Angeles through free access to global performing arts. He previously served as Director of Community Outreach and Engagement with the Los Angeles City Council Redistricting Commission; Director of Community Relations for First 5 LA; Director of Community Relations for the Los Angeles Dodgers; Chief Service Officer and Director of Neighborhood & Community Services for City of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa; Executive Director of Collective SPACE; Founder and Executive Director of Public Allies – Los Angeles; Director of Civic Education & U.S. Citizenship Project Director at the National Association of Latino Elected & Appointed Officials (NALEO) Educational Fund; Affirmative Action Campaign Coordinator at the Mexican American Legal Defense & Educational Fund (MALDEF); Campaign Field Director at Coalition LA & Senior Field Deputy for LA Councilmember Mike Hernandez.
Rafael serves on the boards of the Community Coalition, Center for Nonprofit Management and ActiveSGV. He also serves on the Hispanic Scholarship Fund Advisory Council, Durfee School Site Council and the City of El Monte’s Planning Commission.
Rafael was born and raised in the downtown area of Los Angeles and resides in the City of El Monte. He graduated from Cal State University at Northridge with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chicano Studies and received his master’s degree from the USC Price School of Public Policy. He is married and has three sons.