Fidel A. Vargas is President and CEO of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund, the nation’s leading provider of scholarships and services designed to give Latino students full access to the opportunities a college education can provide. With more than $430 million in scholarships awarded since its founding in 1975, HSF continues to provide increasing numbers of students all the tools they need to apply to college, do well in their course work, graduate, enter a profession, excel, help lead our nation going forward, and mentor the generations to come.
Prior to joining HSF, Mr. Vargas was a founding partner of Centinela Capital Partners, a private equity asset management firm that focused on investing and managing nearly $1billion in minority-owned, emerging-manager funds. Prior to joining Centinela, Mr. Vargas was a Managing Director with TMG Advisors, an investment/consulting firm specializing in business development, strategic planning, and government affairs. He was also a Founding Principal and Managing Director of Reliant Equity Investors, a private equity investment firm primarily investing in later-stage, lower middle market companies. Mr. Vargas also served as Mayor of Baldwin Park, California, a city of 75,000, twenty miles northeast of Los Angeles. At the age of twenty-three, he became the country’s youngest elected Mayor of a major city.
In addition to having served on HSF’s Board of Directors prior to taking the helm as President and CEO, Mr. Vargas has served on several public and private sector boards, including: the Latino Theater Company of Los Angeles; the New America Alliance; Sponsors for Education Opportunities; Operation Hope, Inc.; President Clinton’s Advisory Council on Social Security; President Bush’s Commission on Strengthening Social Security; and President Bush’s Commission on Presidential Scholars, on which he continued to serve through the early years of the Obama Administration.
Mr. Vargas has been recognized for his accomplishments by numerous organizations and media outlets, throughout his career. His honors include selection by Time Magazine as one of the Top 50 young leaders in the United States, being named by Hispanic Magazine as one of the Top 30 young Hispanics in the United States, and selection by Hispanic Business Magazine as one of the country’s 100 most influential Hispanics.
Mr. Vargas graduated with honors from Harvard University with an A.B. in Social Studies and received his MBA from Harvard Business School, with a concentration in Entrepreneurship and General Management. He has a deep commitment to HSF, having been a six-time, HSF scholarship recipient while attending Harvard University.
I am so proud to be leading an organization that directly helps thousands of young people and their families achieve their goals in life. As the demographics of the Latino Community continue to expand in our country, the numbers of students seeking a college education also continues to increase exponentially. What HSF does is needed now, more than ever. Further, I have the great, good fortune to be a living testimonial to the doors we can open. HSF scholarships paid for my own education, through graduate school. So, I have a profound opportunity to lead by example. I can say to our youth and their families, with 100 percent conviction: Yes, it is possible! You can do what I did, and more. The magnitude of the opportunity this represents excites me each and every day. I can’t think of anything I’ve done in my life that is more important than leading HSF, and using my own life experience with HSF to help others.