José is a social entrepreneur who has built a reputation as a visionary leader, strong manager, innovator, and relationship-builder. He has been recognized for building mindful and creative organizational cultures and convening public, private, and community people and resources to solve complex community, business, and public sector problems.
Currently, Jose heads Programs & Partnerships for Stephen and Ayesha Curry’s Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation – a new foundation the Currys launched that is becoming one of the country’s most innovative and impactful philanthropic organizations through its commitment to creating equal opportunities and bright futures for every child. In 2020, Eat. Learn. Play. was able to play a major role in the fight against rising hunger, helping to provide more than 14 million meals to children and families in the foundation’s hometown of Oakland. This strategy included engaging over 130 local restaurants who were able to rehire 850 of their employees in order to prepare and deliver over 2.5 million meals to those who needed meals during the pandemic.
Prior to joining the Eat. Learn. Play. Foundation, José served as the director of equity and strategic partnerships under Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf. In this role, José served as senior advisor to the Mayor, with the responsibility of creating, coordinating, and facilitating public, private, and philanthropic partnerships that foster equitable opportunities and benefits for the people of Oakland.
José also served as chief executive officer of ICA/FundGoodJobs from 2004 to 2015. He led ICA to become a nationally recognized, award-winning organization for its work on scaling small businesses and entrepreneurs as a way to create good jobs, especially for people with the highest need. In the ten years with ICA, he oversaw a portfolio of companies that created over 5,000 jobs, creating over $150 million in wealth for local residents and collectively generating over $300 million in revenue. He also created a platform for hundreds of professionals to participate by contributing over $25 million of total pro bono investments into the ICA mission. His innovative thinking led ICA to launch Fund Good Jobs – an investment fund focused on using capital to influence the creation and retention of quality jobs – and the Talent Management Group – an innovative approach that is reshaping the workforce development sector.
He is currently co-chair of the Oakland Economic Recovery Advisory Council, charged to safely open businesses in Oakland during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Job Quality Fellowship is part of the Economic Opportunity Fellows Network, a network of leadership and fellowship programs run by the Aspen Institute Economic Opportunities Program. Within this Network, EOP connects national and local leaders from across sectors — nonprofit, government, business, philanthropy, academia, and more — to advance policies and practices with the potential to help low- and moderate-income Americans thrive in today’s economy. Learn more at as.pn/eofn.
Bio updated September 2017.