Juan Martinez is the Chief Communications and Marketing Officer at the NAACP Legal Defense & Educational Fund, Inc.
Juan has spent decades in leadership roles in organizations working in the U.S., Latin America, Africa and the Middle East. He also served as a journalist for 15 years. Prior to joining LDF, Juan was the Chief Communications Officer at the Innocence Project where he led successful multi-platform international campaigns for wrongful conviction cases, including Rodney Reed, and the organization’s Netflix series, The Innocence Files. His team’s digital work led to nominations for a prestigious Webby Award for best activism website and a Shorty Award.
As GLSEN’s Chief Communications and Advocacy Officer, Juan led the communications and federal and state policy efforts for the nation’s leading education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for LGBTQ students. In addition to working with Congress and the Obama Administration, Juan led an overhaul of the GLSEN brand, co-produced record-setting fundraising galas, and developed partnerships with Google, YouTube, Facebook, Target, Wells Fargo, Disney/ABC, Levi’s, the NBA/WNBA, Burt’s Bees and Teleflora.
As Senior Program Officer for Policy and Advocacy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Juan designed and managed a $20 million portfolio of national grantees focused on improving public K-12 and postsecondary education. He led all message research projects with parents of color and teachers, including all Teacher Voice efforts, and worked closely with four large public school districts.
Juan also served for four years in the administration of former Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick. As the Governor’s Press Secretary, Juan was the lead spokesperson for the Administration, counseled the Governor on all crisis and media issues, and designed and executed the communications strategy for the $4 billion Massachusetts Works jobs initiative that put 20,000 residents back to work across the state. As Communications Director at the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, Juan managed the communications work of 17 state agencies and the implementation of health care reform, the precursor to the Affordable Care Act.
A proud graduate of Clarkson University, Juan serves on both the Alumni Association’s National Executive Board and the Business Advisory Council of the Reh School of Business.