NEW AMERICA ALLIANCE ANNOUNCES SOLANGE FERNÁNDEZ BROOKS AS NEW CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
New America Alliance (NAA) is proud to announce the appointment of Solange Fernández Brooks as its new Chief Executive Officer, beginning January 2020. Mrs. Brooks has served as Portfolio Manager within the Investments Branch of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), where she manages a global portfolio of limited partnerships.
Mrs. Brooks joined CalSTRS, the second largest pension fund in the nation with assets totaling approximately $246 billion, reporting directly to the Chief Investment Officer in the Investments Executive Unit. There, she had responsibilities across all portfolio asset classes, but with specific management of the Private Equity Proactive Portfolio and the Home Loan Program. Mrs. Brooks established one of the country’s leading emerging manager fund portfolios. Mrs. Brooks’ diverse set of experiences added tremendous value to the portfolio, and to the relationships with the state legislature, trustees, and beneficiaries which CalSTRS serves.
Christopher Ailman, CalSTRS’ Chief Investment Officer, shared the following: “While we are sorry to see Solange leave, we are thrilled for NAA. Solange joined us in 2004 to help expand the diversity of our investment partners. She helped establish CalSTRS as a pacesetter among our peers. She will be a huge asset to NAA and I wish her continued success. She joins the ranks of amazing CalSTRS alumni impacting our industry.”
Mrs. Brooks is widely recognized as a leader in the investment community and her contributions to capital access for emerging and diverse managers is well known. In October 2008, Mrs. Brooks was bestowed the Award of Excellence by the National Association of Investment Companies (NAIC). This leadership recognition is awarded to an individual person that has demonstrated personal achievement in his or her career, and has made outstanding contributions through influence and/or direct actions to the promotion and benefit of minority business ownership. In 2012, New America Alliance honored her with the Pension Leadership Award for Promoting Latino Advancement. Mrs. Brooks has been a long-time supporter of the efforts of the Robert Toigo Foundation by being part of the Advisory Committee and serving as Chair from 2009-2014.
Prior to joining CalSTRS, Mrs. Brooks served on the Corrections Independent Review Panel headed by former California Governor George Deukmejian. The Panel released 239 recommendations to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to improve California’s correctional system. Mrs. Brooks formerly served as Deputy Director of the California Governor’s Office of Community Relations, and spent nine years in the correctional field, where she carried out various leadership positions – Chief Deputy Inspector General; Assistant Agency Secretary, Policy and Planning and Chief Executive Officer for the California Commission on Correctional Peace Officer Standards and Training.
She is a United States Air Force veteran and has served as an adjunct professor at Sacramento City College. Her undergraduate education is in international business and economics, and she earned a Master in Business Administration from the California State University, Sacramento.
NAA Board Chair Gerson R. Guzman shared, “We are excited to have Solange lead the organization. The NAA was organized 20 years ago on the principle that American Latino business leaders have a special responsibility to lead the process of building the forms of economic, political, and human capital crucial to Latino progress. As we look forward to the impact the organization can make in the next 20 years, we can not think of anyone better situated and as accomplished to help us achieve our goals to increase capital access for women and minority-owned firms, and to accelerate diverse leadership in asset management, entrepreneurship, corporate America, and public service.”
Mrs. Brooks shared, “I am energized by the opportunity to lead the NAA efforts at this critical time in our country. I look forward to collaborating with all NAA members and friends in making new roads for success. As a great Spanish poet once said, Caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar!” (Walker, there is no path, the path is made by walking.)
Mrs. Brooks will lead the festivities at the New America Alliance 20th Anniversary Celebration in February 2020, and looks forward to connecting with the extended NAA community and its stakeholders across the country as the organization ushers in its third decade of endeavoring to build on American Latino success to forge a stronger America.