Richard Tagle: An accidental sociologist, Richard Tagle was on his way to becoming an investment banker when a class on International Agencies perked his curiosity about how organizations behave, grow, and can change social structures and relationships. He shifted courses and found himself holding a graduate degree in Applied Sociology and Social Policy. Forget about investment banking; he wanted to change the world. The degree, and his experience in nonprofit work for almost three decades now, equipped him to look at data, history, social dynamics, and emerging trends to create strategies for sustainable growth and long-lasting impact. And he has done this exactly for all the organizations in which he has played a leadership role: Senior Program Officer for the United States Conference of Mayors, Chief of Staff at Public Education Network, Chief Executive Officer at Higher Achievement, Founder and Managing Principal at High Think, and, currently, Chief Executive Officer at the Andy Roddick Foundation.
Richard has led small organizations with grand missions. It is the only way to look at a social problem, tackle and solve it, and elevate the quality of life conditions in the community in which he lives. Born and raised in Manila, Philippines, he has also lived in the most exciting metropolitan areas in the United States with the most pressing problems: San Francisco, California; Washington, DC; and now, Austin, Texas. He involves and immerses himself in the issues that challenge families - especially those who are underserved and marginalized - by serving on nonprofit boards, joining civic organizations, and volunteering in schools. Currently, he chairs the board of directors of Central Texas Afterschool Network and the Program Committee of the Board of College Forward. He also was chair of the National Summer Learning Association board for twelve years and served on the board of directors of the Nonprofit Roundtable for Greater Washington.
He has arrived at the conclusion that to change the world, we need to start with how we support, educate, and raise children. He has been at the forefront of health and education work that benefit children: from building school-based health centers in the mid-90s to developing curriculum and academic standards in the early 2000s to building out-of-school time supports at present. He has done grassroots outreach, program development and design, policy development and advocacy, led organizations to grow and scale, and raised millions of dollars to initiate, evaluate, and sustain children and family-centered initiatives. The test of a community’s grit and generosity lies in how it treats its children and youth. He believes that, in the most powerful country in the world, the institutions that shape and hone the ideas and potential of the next generation of great Americans should be the best institutions we can build.