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Community activist Tony DeFalco will replace Carmen Rubio, who was elected to the Portland City Council.

COURTESY LATINO NETWORK - Tony DeFalcoCommunity leader Tony DeFalco has been chosen as the next leader of the Latino Network.

DeFalco will replace longtime Executive Director Carmen Rubio, who is leaving the Latino-led advocacy organization in January to join the Portland City Council. Rubio was elected to succeed retiring Commissioner Amada Fritz in the May primary election after winning 67% of the vote.

DeFalco was selected after an extensive national and statewide search. He is currently the executive director of Verde, a community-based nonprofit organization, and the board chair of the Coalition of Communities of Color.

According to the Latino Network, DeFalco brings decades of experience in nonprofit management, fundraising, advocacy and coalition building across diverse sectors in the region and state, coupled with a deep understanding of the issues facing Latinos and communities of color.

"It is truly the honor of my life to humbly step into this role and build on the decades of work of our Latinx communities, leaders and Latino Network to build power, stability and wealth in our communities. I look forward to supporting the incredible staff at Latino Network who are giving families and young people the support they need in the midst of multiple crises that are disproportionately impacting our communities," DeFalco said in an announcement released Tuesday, Dec. 22.

Rubio praised DeFalco in the announcement, saying, "I could not be happier to welcome Tony to the Latino Network familia. Tony and Verde have been longtime partners of ours, and I am confident that he will continue our work to advocate on behalf of Latinx youth, families and communities across the state. Latino Network is in good hands."

DeFalco will officially join Latino Network in February 2021. David Martinez, Latino Network's Deputy Director of Internal Operations, will serve as Interim Executive Director until then.

"Tony DeFalco is the right leader for Latino Network at this time. Carmen leaves a thriving organization poised for growth and Tony's vision, high energy and collaborative style are very complimentary with our team. His skills and expertise are exactly what we need as we launch a capital campaign to expand our Rockwood Campus and grow our education, advocacy and workforce development programs to Latino Network continue meeting community needs," said Board Chair Maria Elena Campisteguy.

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