Leaders united change lives.

RGV FOCUS unites school districts, higher education partners, community organizations and businesses under the common goal of improving education outcomes in the Rio Grande Valley. Our Leadership Team consists of school district superintendents, higher education presidents, philanthropic partners, and business and community leaders which lead the establishment of our vision and strategy. This group is guided by Advisory Bodies, such as the Data Support Council and Governance Council, and is supported by Action Networks, which implement plans aligned with our vision and strategy.

The Leadership Team

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RGV FOCUS Backbone

Rodney Rodriguez

Rodney Rodriguez

Senior Director, RGV FOCUS

rrodriguez@cftexas.org

Dr. Rodney H. Rodriguez is the Senior Director for RGV FOCUS. Prior to joining RGV FOCUS, he was the Executive Director of Strategic & External Affairs for Laredo College, where he advised on economic development, international trade, government affairs, technology challenges, global and international relations.

A graduate of Hebbronville High School, Dr. Rodriguez earned his Associates Degree from Laredo Community College, a Bachelor’s and Master’s Degree from Texas A&M International University, and received his Doctoral Degree in Leadership Studies at Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas.

In, 2014, Dr. Rodriguez established his own business, serving as President of Rodriguez Professional Business Solutions (RPBS) and providing consultation services and specializing in grant writing, strategic planning, and program evaluation. He has also served as Adjunct Faculty at Laredo Community College and Texas A&M International University teaching Social Inequality and Qualitative Research Methods for the Department of Social Sciences for over 10 years.

In his previous role as Vice President of Compliance for a national education corporation for 17 years, Dr. Rodriguez travelled across the country and meeting with governmental officials in Washington, D.C. advocating for educational resources for children of migrant workers to have adequate accessibility to educational services. Additionally, he has extensive workforce and economic development experience, having worked with numerous private and governmental organizations to provide over $100 million dollars in grants across the country, including Texas.

Dr. Rodriguez was formerly the Chair of the IMPACT Economic Development Forum, Member of The Laredo Rotary, Member of the Alpha Chi National College Honor Society, and recipient of the prestigious International Trade Association of Laredo Forwarding Agencies (ALFA) Outstanding Commitment Award for enhancing educational and professional development opportunities in Mexico and the U.S.

Katherine Díaz

Katherine Díaz

Deputy Director, RGV FOCUS

kdiaz@cftexas.org

Katherine Díaz serves as Deputy Director for RGV FOCUS, a collaboration with Educate Texas, a public-private initiative of Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT). Her passion is helping students get into and complete college, as she focuses on higher education readiness and access, degree and credential completion, and strengthening community advocacy for rigorous courses of study in K-12.

Díaz joined the RGV FOCUS team with a strong background in K-12 education. She began her career as a Spanish teacher in Missouri and expanded her expertise into the realm of college and career readiness, most recently leading high school Career & Technical Education (CTE), T-STEM, and College Readiness programs. Katherine holds a Bachelor of Science in Education in Spanish and Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) from Missouri State University and a Master of Arts in Spanish Linguistics/Education from The University of Texas—Pan American. She is currently a doctoral student at Texas A&M University – Corpus Christi.

Eugenio Longoria Sáenz

Eugenio Longoria Sáenz

Deputy Director, RGV FOCUS

esaenz@cftexas.org

In his role as Deputy Director for RGV FOCUS, a collaboration with Educate Texas, a public-private initiative of Communities Foundation of Texas (CFT), Sáenz participates in building capacity for improved thought leadership, strategic design and alignment of organizational goals to achieve the RGV FOCUS goals.

Prior to working with RGV FOCUS, Sáenz served as Executive Director of the Eastern North Philadelphia Youth Services Coalition (ENPYSC) for 5 years, served as Director of Leader Development, Knowledge and Capacity at IDEA Public Schools for one year, and is Principal and Founder of BILLY Labs, a design-informed, social architecture consultancy.

Sáenz holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration in economics and international business from Baylor University and an independent studies master’s of arts degree in education and human development from George Washington University. He is currently a doctoral candidate (ABD) at PENN State University in learning and performance systems with a research focus on role theory and social positions. Additionally, he has been the recipient of two international research fellowships – one to the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland, and the other to the Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC) in Cape Town, South Africa.