Herman E. Gallegos
Retired Corporate & Foundation Director
For over fifty years, Herman Gallegos has successfully undertaken important and challenging work seeking the betterment of Hispanics and other minorities ranging from community-based organizing in the Mexican American barrios of the Southwest to pioneering work with nonprofits, philanthropy and the boardrooms of corporate America.
As a civil rights activist in the early 1950’s with Cesar Chavez, Gallegos was active in the formation of the Community Service Organization (CSO), a self-help group organized to promote citizenship and naturalization classes, non-partisan voter registration campaigns, programs aimed at improving neighborhoods, and advocacy to end unwarranted actions by police and immigration officials.
In 1965, with Dr. Ernesto Galarza and Dr. Julian Samora, Gallegos served as an Urban Affairs Consultant with The Ford Foundation for purposes of assessing and recommending ways the Foundation might initiate philanthropic support for vital Hispanic concerns. As a result of this work, in 1968, The Ford Foundation made significant grants to establish what are now the National Council of La Raza and the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund/ Gallegos went on to serve as the Council’s first Executive Director.
In 1969, Gallegos co-authored, with Dr. Samora and Dr. Galarza, a book entitled, Mexican Americans in the Southwest. In 1975, he produced the seminal study, U.S. Foundations and Minority Group Interests, which advocated greater philanthropic support for Hispanics and other minorities. In 1991, he co-edited with Dr. Michael O’Neill, Hispanics in the Non Profit Sector.
Since 1974, Gallegos has served as one of the first Hispanics elected to serve on various corporate and philanthropic boards including: Pacific Bell; Pacific Telesis Group; SBC Communications Inc.; UnionBanCal Corporation; Transmetrics Inc. and, by presidential appointment, The Student Loan Marketing Association.
Past philanthropic boards include The Rockefeller Foundation; The Rosenberg Foundation; The California Endowment; The San Francisco Foundation; The Hogg Foundation; The Poverello Fund; the National Campaign for Human Development.
Gallegos is a Trustee Emeritus of the University of San Francisco; Emeritus, Board of Overseers, The University of California, San Francisco; Hispanics in Philanthropy and The National Council of La Raza.
Gallegos is a graduate of San Jose State University and The University of California, Berkeley.