Providence, RI - Governor Lincoln D. Chafee today announced his appointment of Roger Williams University School of Law Professor Jorge O. Elorza to the Board of Directors of the Rhode Island Foundation.
"Professor Elorza is the perfect candidate for the Rhode Island Foundation's Board of Directors," Governor Chafee said. "He is a true Rhode Island success story. The son of immigrants, he has excelled at the highest levels of academia and law and returned to practice and teach in his home state. Professor Elorza is committed to Rhode Island and will be a tremendous asset to the Foundation as it works to fulfill its mission of developing proactive and strategic methods to meet the needs of the people of our great state."
Rhode Island Foundation Chairman David M. Hirsch reinforced the governor's comments, saying, "We are delighted that Governor Chafee selected Professor Elorza for this position. The Foundation's directors endorsed his appointment with great enthusiasm and appreciation for his expertise and perspective. We anticipate that he will make wonderful contributions to our board."
Raised by Guatemalan immigrant parents in inner-city Providence, Professor Elorza returned to his old neighborhood after his graduation from the University of Rhode Island and Harvard Law School to give back to his community as an attorney for Rhode Island Legal Services. Professor Elorza has litigated race discrimination cases and represented both private and public housing tenants in Rhode Island courts. Professor Elorza is currently co-chair of the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University. This organization pulls together resources from Rhode Island universities, business firms, and community-based organizations to provide a data-driven analysis of issues relating to Latinos in Rhode Island. Professor Elorza has defended the constitutionality of the Rhode Island Lead Hazard Mitigation Act before the Rhode Island Supreme Court, and, because of his expertise in housing matters, has been appointed to preside in the Providence Housing Court.
At Roger Williams School of Law, Professor Elorza teaches Property, Advanced Constitutional Law, and Housing & Policy. His primary research interests are the economics of housing policy and the intersection of law, science, and religion.
The Rhode Island Foundation is the state's largest funder of nonprofit organizations. In 2011, the Foundation made grants of $28 million to more than one thousand organizations statewide; in the last decade, the Foundation has made grants of more than $255 million. Among community foundations nationally, the Rhode Island Foundation, established in 1916, is one of the oldest as well as one of the largest, with estimated net assets at the end of 2011 of more than $571 million.