Leaders in Diversity: Vanessa Calderón-Rosado Makes Community Impact

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The Boston Business Journal has published an article about our CEO, Dr. Vanessa Calderón-Rosado.

Education: Bachelor’s degree in education, University of Puerto Rico, 1986; master’s degree in speech language pathology, 1989; master’s degree in public policy, University of Massachusetts Boston, 1996; doctorate in public policy, Mass Boston, 2000.

Residence: Milton

Directora Ejecutiva de IBA, Dra. Vanessa Calderón-Rosado

Dr. Vanessa Calderón-Rosado

Vanessa Calderón-Rosado could cite all the things she and her organization do on a daily basis at Boston’s IBA-Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción, from providing affordable housing to low-income residents, to sponsoring Latino cultural and arts events in the community, and legitimately say she’s done her part for promoting a more fair and diverse community.

But over the years it hasn’t been enough for Calderón-Rosado, nor for IBA, the largest Latino-led nonprofit organization in Greater Boston. So, that’s why she’s agrees to serve on more boards outside her regular IBA job, proposing new or expanded programs, or helping to set up new organizations to assist the Latino community and others.

“There’s so much more to do,” says Calderón-Rosado who moved to Boston from Puerto Rico in 1992 and took the helm at IBA in 2004.

For her longtime work at IBA and her numerous other community contributions, Calderón-Rosado has earned wide acclaim and respect across the region — and it’s why she’s this year’s recipient of the BBJ’s Leadership in Diversity Community Impact award.

To Calderón-Rosado, Boston has achieved much over the years, slowly evolving into a more culturally rich and inclusive city; particularly for Latinos. “We’ve come a long way in terms of including more people of color in everyday life (in Boston),”she said. “There have been great strides.”

Founded in 1968, Inquilinos Boricuas en Acción is today a 38-employee nonprofit with an operating budget of S4.8 million. Those numbers don’t convey its true scope and importance within the Latino community.

For instance, IBA today controls a portfolio of 521 affordable housing units in the rite, mostly in the South End at its Villa Victoria development, though it also has units in Roxbury and Mattapan.
Through its education, basic-needs services and workforce development programs, it also serves hundreds of low-income people with a variety of services. It also promotes arts and cultural activities.

Besides her full-time job, Calderón-Rosado also sits on an advisory council for diversity and inclusion at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. She’s a co-founder of the Greater Boston Latino Network and the Margarita Muniz Academy.

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