Javier H. Valdés

Director, Civic Engagement and Government, Ford Foundation


Javier H. Valdés is the Director of Civic Engagement and Government at the Ford Foundation. He was most recently the Co-Executive Director of Make the Road New York (MRNY) and Make the Road Action, where he led MRNY’s organizing team in securing historic victories for immigrant and tenant New Yorkers including the NYS Dream Act and restoration of driver’s licenses for all. Javier has also been critical in expanding MRNY’s model across the US by helping to launch Make the Road organizations in New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania and Nevada. He is Co-Chair of the Board of FIRM, the national immigrant rights organization. In 2013, President Barack Obama awarded Javier the White House Champions of Change Cesar Chavez Award. He is founding member of the Flushing Meadow Corona Park Alliance and Secretary of the Working Families Party in New York State.