Lanaea C. Featherstone

Building a Latino Wave in STEM
Thursday, May 19, 2016 | 3:15 pm - 4:15 pm

Lanaea C. Featherstone, president and co-founder of the award-winning William & Lanaea C. Featherstone Foundation, is a leading nonprofit executive with more than a decade of international and management experience. Featherstone works tirelessly to fulfill the organization’s mission to “bridge the opportunity divide among the Latino and underserved communities.”

Under her leadership, the Featherstone Foundation has received numerous statewide honors and awards. In 2016, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan’s administration bestowed the Foundation with an official citation for promoting economic growth across the state. In 2015, the Maryland Hispanic Chamber of Commerce named the Featherstone Foundation “Nonprofit of the Year”; the Foundation also received a “Family Engagement Award” from the Maryland English Language Learning Family Involvement Network (MELLFIN), a “Community Service Award” from the Latino Providers’ Network and a feature story on NBC News during that same year.

For the past ten years, Featherstone has developed critical technology programs to solve key social and economic disparity issues among the State’s Latino community. In 2013, Featherstone received a prestigious Open Society Institute Baltimore Community Fellowship, from a pool of 150 applicants, where she created a citywide computer literacy initiative that helps Latino immigrant parents learn how to use technology to secure better paying jobs and help their children academically. Through the program, she also provides Latino families with laptops for their homes. Featherstone has attracted support from Baltimore Gas and Electric (BGE), tech giant IBM, the Mexican Embassy, State Farm, PNC Bank, BB&T Bank and other corporate partners.

Prior to starting her nonprofit organization, she worked for nearly twelve years at the International Center for Journalists, where she designed programs for Hispanic journalists in the United States and developed initiatives in Latin America on issues ranging from immigration to freedom of expression. In 2008, she organized a major international conference in Sweden that brought together 55 participants from 32 countries. She served as the organization’s senior program director, deputy director of a multimillion-dollar Knight Foundation funded program and finally as a director of development where she was responsible for securing major gifts from corporations and foundations.

Featherstone holds a master’s degree in Spanish and Latin American studies from The American University in Washington, DC and a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Louisiana State University. She is fluent in Spanish and has traveled to fourteen countries throughout Latin and Central America.

She also serves on the planning committee of the Maryland Hispanic Business Conference, the state’s leading professional development event serving more than 40,000 Hispanic businesses.