Xan Avendaño is a Program Associate and supports the Foundation’s grantmaking in Hawaiʻi. Xan began his career at the Foundation in 2018 as a graduate intern in Baltimore. Upon completing his graduate studies, Xan returned to his family home of Hawaiʻi to officially join the Foundation in 2019. In this role, Xan supports the Foundation’s grantmaking and partnerships within the areas of Housing, Health, Jobs, Education, and Community Services, with a special focus on housing and homelessness.
A proud child of immigrants, Xan has worked in government, nonprofits, and the education sector. Xan began his career in youth mentorship and early education programs, where he worked as a teacher for six years at a Spanish-language immersion preschool. While in graduate school, he designed youth social entrepreneurship programming and developed strategic cross-campus partnerships to increase student opportunities to engage in social impact. Throughout his studies, Xan led consulting projects with nonprofit organizations domestically and internationally in strategic planning and fund development.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Xan was the Committee Clerk for the Hawaiʻi State Senate Committee on Human Services and Housing, where he brought together diverse stakeholders to develop social policy. In that capacity, he supported the Chair in leading the Keiki and Kupuna Caucuses, as well as various legislative working groups on affordable housing and homelessness.
Xan received a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Maryland, College Park, School of Public Policy where he was a TIAA Fellow in Nonprofit Leadership, and his BA in International Relations from American University. He is currently a Hispanics in Philanthropy Líder, where he joins a network of social sector professionals working toward a more equitable and inclusive future for the Americas.
Xan lives on the island of Oʻahu, where you can find him listening to podcasts and cooking paella with his loving wife and rescue dog.