Luz Vega-Marquis is president and CEO of Marguerite Casey Foundation, where she oversees the foundation’s $750 million endowment and $35 million annual grantmaking budget. Ms. Vega-Marquis has positioned the foundation as a leader in movement building by shaping its grantmaking and communication strategies to support a nationwide movement of poor and low-income families. Marguerite Casey Foundation supports movement building by investing in organizations that put families at the forefront of efforts to fight poverty and work together across issues, race and ethnicity, regions and egos to bring about social change, and by deploying strategic communications to advance issues and a unifying message that reflects the voice of poor and low-income families.
Marguerite Casey Foundation provides long-term general-support grants to national organizations, as well as grassroots groups in the 13 states with the highest concentration of family poverty in the United States. In 2013, foundation-supported grantees educated more than 5.9 million families about the policy issues that most affect their lives; mobilized over 600,000 people to participate in public actions, events and meetings; led policy campaigns with wins in areas such as education, jobs and wages, criminal justice, housing and immigration reform; and developed more than 50,000 core leaders in communities across the country.
In 2008, the foundation in partnership with its grantees launched Equal Voice for America’s Families. The yearlong campaign brought together more than 30,000 families and approximately 250 community organizations to lay the foundation for a multi-issue national family platform that addressed the needs of families across the country. In September 2014, the foundation seeded and launched Equal Voice Action, an independent organization that seeks to elevate the voices of poor and low-income families through activism and action.
Prior to being named president in 2001, Ms. Vega-Marquis served as executive director of the Community Technology Foundation of California (CTFC), where she was instrumental in developing the strategic framework of CTFC’s grants program as well as energizing the CTFC vision of bringing information technology to underserved communities throughout California. She served four years as vice president and chief operating officer at the National Economic Development and Law Center, an organization committed to providing technical, law and business expertise to low-income communities nationwide; and 17 years at The James Irvine Foundation, where she served as director of the grants programs and senior program officer in charge of the northern California office.
Ms. Vega-Marquis is the founder of Hispanics in Philanthropy and currently serves on the boards of Philanthropy Northwest, Putting Families First, The Workers Lab, and Group Health Community Foundation. Past board service includes the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights, Independent Sector, The California Wellness Foundation, Council on Foundations, Katalysis Foundation, Northern California Grantmakers and the Women’s Foundation of California. Ms. Vega-Marquis received a Bachelor of Arts degree in modern languages from the University of San Francisco and earned a Master of Arts degree in Latin American studies from Stanford University.