Richard J. Noriega is President and Chief Executive Officer of AVANCE, a national community-based nonprofit organization, dedicated to parental involvement and child development.
Under Noriega’s leadership, AVANCE has grown significantly, which landed the organization on Hispanic Business Magazine’s Top 25 nonprofits list five years in a row and named Noriega as one of their Top 100 Influential Hispanics in the United States. During his tenure, AVANCE has established innovative partnerships and community ventures including rapid expansion to states across the nation and for the first time, engaging in cross-cultural partnerships to research the adaptability of the AVANCE Parent-Child Education Program to different ethnic groups. Noriega was recently featured on NBC’s Education Nation and was selected for investment as a social entrepreneur by New Profit Inc. As part of the New Profit investment, AVANCE will participate in an Early Childhood Cohort in partnership with the Bezos Family Foundation.
For over five consecutive terms, Noriega served at the Texas House of Representatives where he introduced and authored the Texas Dream Act, which has had a tremendous impact on thousands of Texas college students and has served as a blue print for federal legislation. Noriega’s involvement in the public sector has gone beyond the halls of the Texas Legislature and the non-profit sector, and into the battleground overseas and domestically. Since 1980 he has served in the National Guard and Army Reserves. During his military service he was stationed in Afghanistan where he commanded the Kabul Military Training Center for Afghan forces during Operation Enduring Freedom.
Noriega is a Houston native with a bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston and a master’s in Public Administration from Harvard University. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, holds a certificate in Advanced International Affairs from the Bush School of Government at Texas A & M University, and has recently completed his U.S. Army War College Fellowship at the University of Texas at Austin. Noriega is married to Houston City Councilmember Melissa Noriega and they have two sons.
Jesus Herrera – Chief Operating Officer
Glendelia M. Zavala, Ed. D. – Chief Program Officer
Elida Gonzales – Senior Director of Finance
Lucy Ortega – Policy Analyst
Elisa Bernal – Compliance Director
Magdalena Santos – Project Director for Unlocking America’s Potential Project
Carolina Guerrero – Director of Human Resources
Gabe Canales – Network Administrator Information Systems
Caitlin Solis – Grants Manager
John “Mickey” Johnson – Communications Coordinator