Jesús Aguirre

Board Chair at National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA)

Jesús Aguirre has over 25 years of experience in public and non-profit leadership in public education and in the parks and recreation field. He is passionate about creating vibrant and inclusive public spaces that help diverse communities thrive. Jesús has served at all levels of the public K-12 education systems, including as a middle school science teacher, a public charter school co-founder and co-director, a school district level administrator, and ultimately as chief state school officer for the District of Columbia. As the leader of the parks and recreation departments in the District of Columbia and in Seattle, Jesús led both agencies to develop new strategic visions and plans to better serve all residents. As part of the team in Washington DC, he led an effort to successfully achieve national accreditation for the department. In Seattle, Jesús was charged with initial implementation of new park district to infuse much-needed funding to improved service to community members, in addition to leading several initiatives to increase efficiency, access, equity, and sustainability in the park system. Recently, Jesús served as the CEO of Waterloo Greenway, a private nonprofit organization that operates and maintains a new urban park system in downtown Austin, Texas. In that role, he, led the vision, strategy, and execution of the organization’s mission to connect people, nature, and culture, overseeing the fundraising, partnerships, programming, and operations of the park. Jesús currently serves as chair of the board for the National Recreation and Parks Association (NRPA) and the chair of the board of the Children and Nature Network (C&NN) and is a member of the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration.Jesús has an MBA from Arizona State University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Texas at Austin. He is an avid park user and a Certified Parks and Recreation Executive (CPRE).


The Success and Evolution of Park Funding Partnerships

Tuesday, June 25
10:15 AM - 11:30 AM