Building momentum: Welcoming America expands board with new members and appointments

Welcoming America is pleased to announce the new members of our board of directors, as well as changes in its leadership, effective immediately.

New members of the board include:

Alexandra Toma, Executive Director of the Peace & Security Funders Group
Alexandra brings 20 years of leadership in politics, advocacy, and philanthropy to her role as PSFG’s Executive Director. Inside Philanthropy recognized Alex as the “Affinity Group Head with the Most Hustle.” Prior to joining PSFG in 2013, Alex was Executive Director of the Connect U.S. Fund, a donors’ collaborative to meet today’s global challenges.

Ernestor De La Rosa, Chief Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Officer for the City of Topeka, Kansas
In his current role, Ernestor leads the Human Resources and Community Engagement departments of the City of Topeka. Appointed by Governor Laura Kelly, he serves on both the Kansas Hispanic & Latino American Affairs Commission and the Kansas Racial Equity and Justice Commission. Additionally, Ernestor contributes to the Thrive Rural Theory of Change Working Group at the Aspen Institute. A 2014 graduate of Wichita State University with a Master's in Public Administration, Ernestor, originally from Mexico, immigrated to the United States at the age of 12.

Federico Rios, Senior Vice President of the Robinson Center for Civic Leadership at the Foundation For The Carolinas
Federico provides leadership, strategic planning, and management for the Foundation’s civic engagement efforts, overall strategy, research, and more. Previously, he served as the City of Charlotte’s first Assistant Director of the Office of Equity, Mobility, and Immigrant integration. He is also a participant of the 2023 Charlotte Business Journal's Power 100 class.

John Grossman, Senior Fellow of Third Sector Capital Partners
John is dedicated to leveraging evidence-informed practices, data, finance, technology, and the law to drive outcomes, foster greater equity, and strengthen accountability in the public and social sectors. As a co-founder of a 45-person national non-profit consulting firm, he played a pivotal role in helping government achieve improved outcomes for vulnerable populations. John also managed the nation’s largest Pay for Success project, led Massachusetts agencies responsible for forensic science and public safety technology, and served as a prosecutor, pioneering the country’s first statewide computer crime division. Currently, he holds the position of Senior Advisor to the Roca Impact Institute and is a Senior Fellow with Third Sector Capital Partners.

Karan Dang, Head of Creative at the Walmart Corporation
Karan is a globally acclaimed creative leader who currently serves as Head of Brand Creative and Innovation at Walmart. Recognized in AdAge's 40 under 40 list in 2021, he was ranked as the #6 Creative Director globally in the Cannes Lions Global Creativity Report 2017. With more than 150 international awards, Karan has been a judge for prestigious award shows like Cannes Lions, One Show, and more. Having led creative transformations at Fortune 50 companies (Walmart and Disney), he emphasizes diverse talent for cultural relevance. Karan achieved over 50% female representation in less than two years at Yellow Shoes, driving gender equity.

Rachel Perić, executive director of Welcoming America, said: “As Welcoming America works to grow the movement of welcoming places, we are thrilled to add four new board members — Alexandra Toma, Ernestor De La Rosa, Federico Rios, John Grossman, and Karan Dang — whose backgrounds, experience, and significant contributions to building more equitable and peaceful communities are an asset to us all.”

New appointments within the board of directors include:

Mario Hernández, director of public affairs at Western Union, will transition from his role as vice chair to chair of the board.

Kien Lee, vice president of consulting at Community Science, will now serve as vice chair of the board.

We thank Heath Wickline of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation for his service as the outgoing chair of the board and look forward to his continued participation on the board as a member. We also recognize and thank departing board member, Stephen Valrie of Slalom Consulting, for his service and support for Welcoming America.