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Claudia Aguirre

President & CEO, BakerRipley

Claudia Aguirre is President & CEO of BakerRipley, one of the largest, most long-standing, and highly recognized nonprofit organizations in the United States. With more than 1,300 employees and an annual operating budget exceeding $500 million, Claudia is responsible for ensuring that BakerRipley provides resources, education, and connection through more than 50 operating locations, including community centers, charter schools, Head Start sites, senior health and wellness centers, and Workforce Solutions offices that serve a combined total of more than half a million Neighbors every year.

Highly regarded as a trusted community partner, Claudia has more than three decades of experience leading large-scale community engagement initiatives in the government, education, and nonprofit sectors. She thrives on collaboration and innovation in all aspects of operations, resource development, and program delivery to address challenges and opportunities in vulnerable communities across the Houston region.

Since joining BakerRipley in 2010, Claudia’s passion for creating sustainable solutions for socioeconomic mobility has played a pivotal role in advancing the organization’s strong vision, rapid growth, and enduring community impact. She has served the organization as Vice President of Community-Based Initiatives, Superintendent of Promise Community Charter Schools, Senior Vice President, and Chief Program Officer. In these progressively responsible leadership roles, Claudia has overseen operations and expansions of community centers and charter schools, guided development of a special school for immigrant and refugee children, enhanced programs for entrepreneurship and immigration services, and she spearheaded the implementation of Appreciative Community Building, a strength-based approach to community engagement.

Under Claudia’s leadership, BakerRipley has received widespread acclaim for its expertise in disaster recovery. BakerRipley administered the nation’s most successful COVID-19 rental assistance program that prevented thousands of evictions during the pandemic. The organization has also demonstrated excellence in its capacity to quickly ramp up and operate massive temporary shelters that offer hope and help to people displaced by hurricanes, floods, and winter storms.

Claudia is a Class C Member and Deputy Chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Board of Directors. She also serves on the boards of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities and the Greater Houston Partnership, and she actively participates on the disaster task forces for the City of Houston and for Harris County, Texas.

An influential thought leader on child development, education, community engagement, and immigration policy, Claudia has been featured in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and Houston Chronicle. She is a highly sought-after speaker who has participated in programs for several organizations, including the Center for American Progress, the Center for Houston’s Future, the National Diversity Council, and the Urban Institute.

Claudia earned a B.A. in Political Science from St. Edward’s University and a M. Ed. from the University of Houston. She also holds certifications in Special Education and ESL (English as a Second Language) from the Texas Education Agency, as well as an Education Executive Certification from Harvard University.