Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) Senior Program Officer in Research & Evaluation Debra Joy Pérez, Ph.D., M.P.A., M.A., was among a distinguished group of prominent Latinos honored at the annual presentation of LatinTRENDS Magazine’s Latino Trendsetter Awards on Tuesday. The awards recognize groundbreaking leaders in business, education, entertainment, art, health, community service and popular culture.
Pérez is responsible for the Foundation’s public-health and program-management work focused on increasing the diverse perspectives that inform the Foundation’s grantmaking. She is the national program director of RWJF’s New Connections: Increasing Diversity of RWJF Programming, and also works with researchers from historically underrepresented communities to identify opportunities to link their talents to the Foundation’s work. She is the chair of the RWJF Diversity Committee working within the Foundation and with other foundations, and serves as the senior program officer responsible for managing RWJF’s National Urban Fellows program.
At the November 30, 2010 awards presentation ceremony in New York City, she joined a number of other prominent recipients, including Soledad O’Brien, cable news host on CNN; Bill Gallo, New York Daily News cartoonist; Alex Sensation, disc jockey on La Mega radio in New York City; and Junot Diaz, Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist and MIT professor. Other honorees include Ricardo R. Fernandez, Ph.D., president of Lehman College; Jacqueline Gonzalez, executive director of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, New York; Carlos Sanchez, vice president and general manager of WNJU Channel 47 Telemundo; and Jose Tavares of Merrill Lynch, among others.
The Latino Trendsetter Awards also provide scholarships to college students in the City University of New York system.