The Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF), the nation’s leading source of higher education assistance for Hispanic students, has named Fidel A. Vargas as its new President and CEO. Vargas replaces Frank Alvarez, who steps down after a five year tenure that saw unprecedented growth for the fund.

Vargas comes to the HSF with an impressive background in finance and investment, politics and civic leadership. A Harvard graduate, at just 23 years old he was elected mayor of Baldwin Park, California, becoming the youngest elected mayor of a major U.S. city. He then went on to serve as Managing Director of TMG Ventures, a private equity firm, and later, Reliant Equity Investors. He most recently helped found Centinela Capital Partners, a minority-owned asset management firm that has invested and managed nearly $1 billion.

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A recognized civic leader, Vargas was appointed by President Bill Clinton to serve on the Social Security Advisory Committee and by President George W. Bush to serve on the Commission to Strengthen Social Security and the Presidential Scholars Commission.  He was named to TIME Magazine’s “40 Under 40” list and Hispanic Business Magazine’s “100 Most Influential Hispanics”.

Vargas has served on the HSF Board of Directors for two years. As a scholarship recipient himself, he is deeply committed to the work of HSF. Upon his appointment, he said, “Education is the most critical issue facing the Hispanic community today and I deeply appreciate the opportunity to be aligned with the Hispanic community’s most important educational institution.”

The Hispanic Scholarship Fund was founded in 1975. Beyond providing more than $360 million in scholarships during its 33-year history, the HSF also works to remove the barriers that keep many Hispanics from pursuing higher education or earning a college degree. To that end, it helps Latino students navigate college life, from the admissions process to financial aid to finding a job after graduation. For more information, visit