A proven and inclusive leader, manager, and advocate; Rafael is driven by the 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 sectors. He develops and maintains relationships with individuals from diverse disciplines and backgrounds focused on realizing common objectives, social impact, equity, and community/systems change.
Rafael is 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.
In addition to CNM, Rafael serves on the boards of the Community Coalition and ActiveSGV. He also serves on the Hispanic Scholarship Fund Advisory Council and the City of El Monte Planning Commission. A graduate of Cal State University, Northridge with a B.A. in Chicano Studies, he received his master’s degree from the USC Price School of Public Policy.