Henry Fernandez Click to download hi-resolution image

Expertise: State and municipal policy, elections, civil rights, immigration

Henry Fernandez is a Senior Fellow at American Progress focusing on state and municipal policy, with a specific interest in how these impact the civil rights and economic opportunities for Americans.

He is CEO of Fernandez Advisors, LLC, a strategic and management consulting firm counseling nonprofits, businesses, grassroots movements, foundations, and government agencies. Fernandez was the founding executive director of LEAP, a nationally recognized child development program serving low-income youth, primarily public-housing residents, in Connecticut. Fernandez served on the Obama transition team based at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development where he concentrated on the affordable housing, homelessness, and community development portfolios.

Fernandez has worked broadly in local government, including as economic development administrator for New Haven, Connecticut, where he oversaw the city’s seven development departments as well as the Port Authority, Development Commission, and Redevelopment Agency.

He has managed and helped lead local and state electoral campaigns in Connecticut and Massachusetts, from city council to governor’s races. He has developed large-scale voter registration programs in the United States and advised election monitoring groups in East Africa.

He has been interviewed by a diverse set of media ranging from The New York Times, The Boston Globe, and The Wall Street Journal, to Variety, Black Enterprise, and “Good Morning America,” as well as local print, television, and radio news.

Fernandez graduated from Yale Law School and Harvard College. He taught high school in Zimbabwe, worked for a rural organizing group in Mississippi, and was the Stupski fellow at Yale Law School. He has served on numerous boards and commissions, including the National Commission on Civic Renewal; the Center for Community Change; the Connecticut Commission on Arts, Culture, and Tourism; and the National Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty. He currently serves as the chair of both America’s Voice and America’s Voice Education Fund in Washington, D.C., and is a board member of the National Hispanic Media Coalition in Los Angeles as well as Junta For Progressive Action in New Haven, Connecticut.

Fernandez lives with his wife Kica Matos and their son in New Haven, Connecticut.

By Henry Fernandez
House Republicans Have Nothing to Fear from Supporting Immigration ReformCenter for American ProgressMay 19, 2014
Chris Christie Needs a History Lesson on Referendums and Civil RightsThe GrioFebruary 4, 2012
Mississippi Voter ID Law Would Disenfranchise Black VoterstheGrioNovember 8, 2011
Is the Gulf Coast Safe for Immigrant Women?New America MediaNovember 8, 2011
SAT Scores Drop Dramatically: Is It Because of Race?The GrioSeptember 21, 2011
Immigrant Rights Activists Are Obama’s Freedom RidersNew America MediaAugust 22, 2011
Arizona Under FireCenter for American ProgressFebruary 15, 2011
Death at the BorderCenter for American ProgressAugust 31, 2010
Fighting Back Against Copycat Immigration Laws Like Arizona’sCenter for American ProgressAugust 24, 2010
Blacks vs. Immigrants Is a Zero-Sum ArgumentCenter for American ProgressMarch 19, 2010
A Promise Deferred Is a Promise BrokenCenter for American ProgressMarch 9, 2010
Rules for (Dealing with) RadicalsCenter for American ProgressAugust 7, 2009
Supreme Court Rules that Immigrants Have Rights, TooCenter for American ProgressMay 5, 2009
New Beltway BanditsCenter for American ProgressFebruary 9, 2009
Killing Itself for the Right to DiscriminateCenter for American ProgressJuly 8, 2008
The Perils of Mortgage Fraud: Why Cities Should CareCenter for American ProgressMarch 4, 2008
Unconstitutional CowboysCenter for American ProgressOctober 24, 2007
Safer Driving, Stronger SecurityCenter for American ProgressSeptember 26, 2007
Know Your Sources: The Mainstream Press Keeps Finding Wacky Immigration “Experts”Center for American ProgressSeptember 19, 2007
Hypocritical Editorial PoliciesCenter for American ProgressJuly 18, 2007
Inaction Begets Reaction: Stalled Immigration Reform Sparks ProblemsCenter for American ProgressJuly 11, 2007
Today I Am Proud to Call New Haven My HometownCenter for American ProgressJune 5, 2007
Limited Benefits: Insurers Peddle “Limited Health Care” to America’s Working PoorCenter for American ProgressMay 7, 2007
Phoning Home: High Cost Calls Hinder Prisoner RehabilitationCenter for American ProgressApril 9, 2007