David Damian Figueroa, VP of Strategic Development and Communications, is first openly gay member of executive team in organization's history

Los Angeles, CA - In honor of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) Pride Month, David Damian Figueroa, MALDEF Vice President of Development and Communications, has been selected by KCET – our nation’s largest independent public television station – as one of five inaugural LGBT Local Heroes who devote their time and energy doing the critical work for our communities, but who’s work often goes unrecognized.

David Damian Figueroa is proud to serve as MALDEF’s first openly gay member of the executive team in the organization’s history. This year marks the first year that KCET has honored LGBT Local Heroes as a part of LGBT Pride Month.

On David Damian's impact within MALDEF, Thomas A. Saenz, MALDEF President and General Counsel, stated "David Damian richly deserves this recognition, and we are proud of his many achievements, just as we are proud and privileged to benefit from the leadership and contributions of such a brilliant communications and development strategist. Our work is immeasurably enhanced by his hard work and his creative acumen."

"It has been my privilege and honor to work in helping to transform and create an acceptance for the contributions of openly gay leadership in non-LGBT movements and organizations," stated Figueroa. "I share this recognition with my LGBT brothers and sisters who have sacrificed so much in the pursuit of equality and justice."

From 1998 to 2001, Figueroa served under former MALDEF President and General Counsel Antonia Hernandez as Director of Public Relations and Creative Marketing. Figueroa returned to MALDEF in 2009 after working as Associate State Director of the Los Angeles County Region for AARP California from 2002 to 2009, while also acting as philanthropic advisor to numerous Latino artists, specializing in connecting celebrities to non-profit organizations.

KCET will air video profiles of each honoree throughout the month of June to highlight the important impact these individuals have had on our community.

A short KCET video on David Damian Figueroa can be viewed here. All five videos can be found on KCET’s website at

Throughout the year, KCET and sponsoring partner Union Bank have honored leaders to help celebrate the national commemorative heritage months for various communities, including Black History Month (February), Women’s History Month (March), Jewish American Heritage Month (May) and Asian Pacific American Heritage Month (May). The next and final awards will be given for Hispanic Heritage Month in September/October.

Official press releases are also available from KCET and Local Heroes sponsor Union Bank.

Founded in 1968, MALDEF is the nation’s leading Latino legal civil rights organization. Often described as the “law firm of the Latino community,” MALDEF promotes social change through advocacy, communications, community education, and litigation in the areas of education, employment, immigrant rights, and political access. For more information on MALDEF, please visit:

For all media inquiries, please contact Laura Rodriguez.

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund