Ines Hernandez is driven by her passion and commitment to building inclusive, resilient, and thriving communities. She has over 20 years of experience building cross-sector consensus that led to community and economic development solutions, new policies, and action with demonstrable results. She thrives in navigating intersecting issues, including financial inclusion, small business development, workforce development, affordable housing, climate policy, public health, and equity. As a public relations professional, Ines also understands the business, political, and grassroots landscapes and how issues are communicated in the media, through the political process, and in the public dialogue.
The U.S. Department of Commerce recently appointed Ines as the first-ever Counselor for Equity. In this newly created role, Ines will work across the Department’s 13 bureaus to institutionalize equity across all workstreams and advise senior leadership on policy design and implementation strategies that help advance the equity agenda within the Department’s programs and strategic initiatives.
Most recently, Ines served as the inaugural Senior Economic Development Fellow for StartUP FIU, where she helped connect Florida International University to opportunities that foster entrepreneurship and build inclusive prosperity by leveraging its role as an anchor institution and innovation hub. In her prior role as SVP in Community Investment and Development at Citi, Ines was responsible for leading the bank’s regional commitment to economic inclusion and leveraging philanthropy, business solutions, and relationship expertise to launch and scale transformative programs with high social impact. During her tenure as Principal of Civica Consulting Group Inc., Ines advised municipalities, nonprofit, industries, and philanthropies on how to use data to advance community and economic development initiatives. As the lead consultant for The Social Compact (Washington, D.C) and Emerging Markets, Inc. (Los Angeles, California), Ines used research data to demonstrate the untapped market potential of low-income neighborhoods and encouraged major financial institutions and supermarkets to serve these areas.