Alumni Changemakers: Jerry Maldonado

Alumni Changemakers: Jerry Maldonado

To honor our 40 years, we're celebrating our most valuable resource - our alumni - through 40 profiles highlighting their leadership. Jerry Maldonado completed the Junior Summer Institute at Princeton University in 1995.

Mobilizing Community & Philanthropic Resources for Racial Justice 

Jerry Maldonado embodies the values of collaboration, justice and leadership. Jerry received his Bachelors degree in International Studies with a minor in Urban Studies from Brown University and then went on to receive his Masters in Public Policy and International Affairs from Columbia University.

With the goal of supporting and empowering low income and BIPOC communities, Jerry Maldonado began his career at the Ford Foundation. Throughout his nearly 15 years there, he held many different roles from Program Manager to Senior Program Officer to Director of its Cities and States program. In each of his roles, he remained focused on improving the way of life for those families and communities who needed it most.

As a Program Manager he helped to transform cities and communities after the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina and Rita by overseeing a broad initiative. As a Program Officer and Director, his innovative grant making strategies supported multi-issue, multiracial advocacy, organizing and civic engagement strategies designed to advance equitable development. By integrating local, regional and national philanthropy, he brought people, resources and policy together to protect and benefit low income communities.

“PPIA helped me crystallize my passion and commitment to public service and policy change. It was inspiring to meet an incredibly diverse cohort of leaders who were passionate about the role that government and the public sector could play as a positive force for change, equity and inclusion in the US and internationally.”

His leadership extended beyond his many roles at the Ford Foundation. He served as the co-director of the Carnegie Council’s Global Policy Innovations Program, as a visiting scholar at Cornell University’s Global Labor Institute and as a consultant for the United Nation’s Non-Governmental Liaison Service, Rockefeller Brother’s Fund, and the Carnegie Council on Ethics and International Affairs. He has organized international conferences on issues of inequality, human rights, and economic development and co-authored a report entitled The Americas at a Crossroads: Putting Decent Work back on the International Development Agenda.

His current role as the inaugural Vice President of Programs for Policy Link invites his leadership, skills and experience forward on behalf of their commitment to serve 100 million people living at or near the poverty level.

Jerry Maldonado recognizes the power that is possible when collective resources meet with strategically aligned partnerships and bold innovative policy and is using his leadership to make that happen on behalf of underserved communities.

“In cities and states across the country, frontline community leaders have also reminded us that the arc of history doesn’t bend by itself or of its own volition. It requires bold leadership from advocates, policymakers, and practitioners working in deep partnership with each other to transform the politics and policies that drive inequality and injustice.”

Thank you, Jerry, for doing all you can to liberate the potential of communities by utilizing the power of collaboration and organizing it effectively. Your leadership, dedication, and experience is ushering in thriving communities and a well-integrated and benefic public sector.

Read more Changemaker profiles here!