As Executive Vice-President and Chief of Staff at Esperanza, Reverend Danny Cortés is responsible for the creation and implementation of new projects throughout the organization. Nationally, he has supervised projects focused on housing, youth mentoring, and capacity building and training initiatives. Rev. Cortés has been integral to securing, distributing and managing national grants totaling over $3 million in technical assistance and $25 million in capacity building, assisting faith and community based organizations in 53 cities throughout the United States.
Recently, Rev. Cortés focus has shifted towards supporting and expanding Esperanza’s educational portfolio, which includes Esperanza Academy Charter Schools, Esperanza College of Eastern University, AMLA, Workforce Development and the newly founded Esperanza Cyber Charter School, providing an individualized educational experience to 140 students in grades 6-12. In 2012, Esperanza Academy’s charter expansion was approved to include a middle school, which opened in fall 2013. Esperanza Academy now hosts 925 students and expects to serve 1275 students beginning in the 2014-2015 academic year. Additional projects include Esperanza’s Workforce program that continues to be a top performer in the city of Philadelphia and Esperanza College of Eastern University, a two year college program located in the heart of North East Philadelphia. Rev. Cortés also oversees AMLA, the Executive staff and the organization’s Strategic Planning and Fund Development.
Prior to joining Esperanza, Rev. Cortés served as a program officer at The Pew Charitable Trusts for 10 years. There he was instrumental in enhancing and refining Pew’s religion grant making efforts in Hispanic, community and urban ministry, education and training. During his tenure at the Trusts, Rev. Cortés was responsible for $40 million in grant funds. Rev. Cortés also served as pastor for five years at the First Spanish Baptist Church of Philadelphia.
Rev. Cortés serves on numerous boards and committees including Ceiba, the Ministers and Missionaries Benefit Board (MMBB) and Eastern University. He holds a Master’s of Divinity from Eastern Baptist Theological Seminary and a bachelor’s degree from Eastern University. Rev. Cortés and his wife Ellen have two children, Sarah and Danny and reside in the Philadelphia area.