Headline: Expert Communicator
Organization: Latino Policy Forum
Title: Associate Director of External Affairs
Roberto Valdez Jr.’s experience as a communications and policy experience professional extends from non-profit organizations, the private sector, political campaigns, and the halls of U.S. Congress.
At the start of his career, Roberto began in Washington, D.C. working for the Dewey Square Group, and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, and served as communications director in the U.S. House of Representatives.
After his time in Washington, he moved to Chicago to work for the Latino Policy Forum. He started his career with the Forum working on its communications team, then transitioned to its development department, and finally to his current role where he helps manage the group’s legislative and policy agenda and serves as the group’s government liaison.
As part of his responsibilities, he helps manage the Forum’s Acuerdo network, a network of over 100 community-based organizations and service providers. In addition, he helps to manage the Illinois Latino Agenda 2.0 collaborative which is a coalition of Latino-serving and Latino-leading organizations that work to advance the economic, political and social prosperity of the Latino community.
During the COVID-19 epidemic in the Spring of 2020, he supported Illinois Unidos’ efforts to help combat the pandemic in the Latino community by joining its leads committee, health, and policy committee and by co-chairing its education committee. He spearheaded the Forum’s work in the fall of 2020 to help distribute half a million dollars in cash assistance to families who did not receive financial support through federal resources.
He is on the iHeart Media Chicago Local Advisory Board, a member of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists Chicago Chapter, the National Hispanic Lobbyist Association, a member of the Latino Leadership Council, is on the Steering Committee of the Chicago Housing Justice League, and was awarded the 2021 Leadership award by the Illinois Association of Hispanic State Employees.
He received his Bachelor of Arts and Sciences in Communication and Media Studies from Arizona State University.
He credits HACE’s work to help elevate and amplify voices as a critical part of the development and growth of future leaders. Through HACE they receive exposure to networks and audiences that can help further the trajectory of their careers and can provide clearer paths to get there.