Guillermina Hernández-Gallegos joined The Kresge Foundation as program director for Human Services in March 2011. As the leader of the Human Services team, she encourages a comprehensive, holistic approach to grantmaking that supports the broad sector of human-services organizations moving people out of poverty.
Guillermina also is responsible for shaping future nonprofit grant investments. Those investments will be aimed at helping make direct human-services organizations more self-sustaining and effective; promoting collaboration with intermediary organizations and networks to strengthen and expand the field of human services; and supporting research efforts to advance systems change. She is focused on building and managing a portfolio of human-services grantees that will inform her strategic work in addressing population needs and tracking current trends.
“For me, this is a return to my original passion,” says Guillermina, who started her career as a community organizer in Miami. As an organizer, she worked with nonprofit organizations to provide greater access to human services and opportunities for politically and economically disinvested African-American and Latino neighborhoods.
“Now I am working on the funding side where my focus is on a transformation process for these organizations to help them become more viable and vibrant and reach their full potential for moving vulnerable populations out of poverty,” she says.
Prior to joining Kresge, Guillermina served for four years as senior program director at the Fetzer Institute in Kalamazoo, Mich. From 1993 to 2006, she led several programming areas at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Mich., working on issues affecting youth and education, social and economic development, and families and neighborhoods. Earlier, Guillermina headed research and planning at the United Way of Massachusetts Bay in Boston; pursued various research projects at Brandeis University; worked at the State of Massachusetts Division of Employment Security; and spent 12 years in county government and nonprofits in Miami.
A graduate of the University of Miami, she holds a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government and a doctorate in social welfare policy from Brandeis University’s Heller School. Guillermina has spoken widely on issues related to Latinos and aging. Her work has been published in professional journals and books.