Senior Vice President of Community Investment at United Way
José Rico joined United Way of Metropolitan Chicago (UWMC) in April of 2014 as Senior Vice President of Community Investment. In this position, he oversees engagement with community partners, directs investment, and manages measurement and evaluation. José leads United Way in utilizing the Neighborhood Network model to deliver highly coordinated and concentrated services in underserved communities. He also works to advance public policy and systems-level change congruent with the LIVE UNITED 2020 Impact Plan. In 2015, he received the National Football League (NFL) Hispanic Heritage Leadership Award.
José is a seasoned community leader and school administrator with extensive public policy and implementation experience. Most recently, he was the Director of the Illinois Center for School Improvement, whose mission is to lead the delivery of high-quality, research-based state-wide support services to raise student performance. Prior to that, he served five years as the Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. In this role, he planned policy, strategic initiatives, outreach, and communications for President Obama’s education agenda and the Latino community. He was also involved in developing the promise neighborhood grants across the country.
In addition, José was a Founding Principal at the Multicultural Arts School at the Little Village/Lawndale High School Campus, which opened in 2005. He also served as Director of Community Organizing at the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights; and started his career as the Program Director at Public Allies.
José attended CPS and graduated from Whitney Young high school, after which he attended University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana on a full scholarship.