José Antonio Rico is a community leader and educator from Chicago. He is the Senior Vice President of Community Investment for United Way of Metropolitan Chicago, which invests in initiatives to advance human services and improve the lives of individuals and entire neighborhoods.
He is also the former Executive Director of the Obama Administration’s White House Initiative On Educational Excellence For Hispanics and was the founding high school principal of Multicultural Arts School, a Chicago Public School serving the families in Little Village and North Lawndale with a focus on social justice and arts integration.
Rico partners extensive education and public policy expertise with an intimate knowledge of people across class and cultural lines. He brings his experience as an immigrant, teacher and father who is deeply committed to building community, racial equity and empathy in all his endeavors.
“I am a Chicagoan by way of Mexico. Raised on the southwest side, I was blessed to receive support from family, neighbors and teachers along my journey. Those relationships fueled a deep commitment, and passion that compels me still – to seek out & uplift others amongst my community I hold so dear. This is why I serve.”