The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences

Fernando de Necochea '62

Fernando de Necochea retired four years ago as a senior member of Southern California Edison’s strategic engagement group, responsible for the utility company’s relationship to Latino leaders and Latino organizations in the region and state and nationwide and advisor on philanthropy to underserved communities. He is a consultant and lecturer.

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Prior to working for more than 19 years in public affairs at Southern California Edison, Mr. de Necochea had a long career as an executive officer and leader in higher education: as advisor to the president and assistant provost at Stanford University, director of financial aid and advisor to the vice provost at Brown, and co-founder of the multi-component Chicano studies program at the University of California, Santa Barbara where he headed the research center and community service program. Earlier he was a junior fellow and staff member of the Center for the Study of Democratic Institutions in Santa Barbara. For the past six years he has chaired the board of directors of AltaMed Health Services, the nation’s largest Latino nonprofit and largest federally qualified health center, in addition to serving on the boards of the Mexican American Opportunity Foundation, the Central American Resource Center, the corporate advisory board of the USC Latino Alumni Association, and previously chairing the advisory board of the University of California Statewide Puente Project.

During the Clinton Administration, he served on the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance that advised the Executive and Congress on federal student aid and access to college. He was a public member of the State Bar board of governors in California and twice chaired the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund national board of directors. He was president of the Mexican Museum trustees in San Francisco and on the general board of the Museum of Latin American Art in Long Beach. Born and raised in the border city of Calexico, California, Mr. de Necochea graduated from Dartmouth as a Rufus Choate Scholar, studied abroad at the University of Salamanca in Spain and the Pontifical Catholic University of Lima in Peru, and pursued graduate studies at the University of California, Los Angeles. He is past president of the Dartmouth Latino Alumni Association.

In 2016 Mr. de Necochea was invited to give the commencement address to the graduating students at San Diego State University, Imperial Valley, located in Calexico, and to teach courses in Mexican American history and the U.S.-Mexico border in the ensuing academic year. Stanford University Libraries is currently completing an oral history of his work in expanding Latino access to higher education and institutionalizing academic and research programs designed to expand both the scholarly and the public understanding of Mexican and Latino contributions to the nation, as well as of his public and community leadership contributions.

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The Nelson A. Rockefeller Center for Public Policy and the Social Sciences