Meet the NCRP team
Vice President & Chief External Affairs Officer
A seasoned executive leader, resource mobilizer, and philanthropic organizer, Maria De La Cruz oversees NCRP’s strategic development, communications and marketing efforts.
Maria has been passionate throughout her career about moving money to those with the least wealth, opportunity, and power. Before joining NCRP, she worked at Headwaters Foundation for Justice (HFJ) in several roles, most recently as President. Her additional leadership roles included being a board member of the Minnesota Council on Foundations, the co-chair of the Impact Driven Philanthropy Collaborative, and a co-chair of the Giving Project Network.
Her commitment to racial justice and collective liberation includes leading HFJ’s Fund of the Sacred Circle, a community-led grant program committed to Indigenous communities in Minnesota. She also helped launched the Emergency Fund for Black Lives to support Black-led community organizing in the wake of the murders of Jamar Clark and Philando Castile, as well as served on the design and core teams of Freedom Funders, a national network working to build philanthropy dedicated to Black Freedom. That work was built on years of experience mobilizing resources for grassroots groups, including her work at OutFront Minnesota, where she helped engage donors and advocates around their Safe Schools for All and Marriage Equality Campaigns.
De La Cruz holds a bachelor’s degree in women’s studies from Metropolitan State University, a master’s degree in nonprofit management from Hamline University School of Business, and a juris doctorate from Hamline University School of Law. She lives in Minnesota with her wife and two teenage children.
Meet the outstanding individuals who comprise NCRP’s board of directorsLearn More