Felix Sanchez is the Chairman and Co-founder of the National Hispanic Foundation for the Arts (NHFA), a veteran media and communications expert, who consults regularly on Latino programming and content. NHFA was launched in 1997 by then-First Lady Hillary Clinton. NHFA co-founders include: Jimmy Smits, Sonia Braga, Esai Morales and Merel Julia. NHFA ambassadors include: Melissa Barrera (Starz’s VIDA) and Ryan Guzman (Fox’s 9-1-1).
Felix has created a number of impactful programs focused on creating diverse content and a new generation of diverse content creators. He launched the NHFA scholarship program with eight esteemed universities: NYU, Columbia, Harvard, Yale, Northwestern, USC, UCLA and UT Austin; created the PitchNY program with Governor Cuomo’s Office of Motion Pictures and Television, NBCUniversal and industry leaders to cultivate the talent of higher ed students throughout New York. Developed PitchDC - a content pitch program--made possible through a community grant from the D.C. Mayor’s Office of Latino Affairs. Created PitchLA with VIACOMCBS to connected development executives at CBS, Showtime and C.W. with NHFA’s Artists. Collaborated with Connecticut Public Television & Radio to develop PitchCT and The State of Latinos in Media 2020, which aired last May.
As a response to COVID 19, Felix created InformGente, a web talk series aimed at bringing current and relevant information to the Latino community on topics like the pandemic, floods, wildfires, earthquakes and other natural disasters. InformaGente, was created in association with Gov. Newsom’s Office of Emergency Services and LULAC, the League of United Latin American Citizens.
Felix also launched: “Coctelitos con Rita Moreno and then-Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Joaquín Castro, D-TX;” along with a program highlighting emerging high school talent in a homage to the play: “In the Heights.”
Felix, as NHFA Chairman, led the fight to desegregate the honors and awards programs of major cultural and entertainment institutions. His work resulted in major administrative and personnel changes at the Kennedy Center, and yielded new Latino honorees for Kennedy Center Honors, along with the induction of 22 new Latino members into the Association of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences (Oscars). He was also the force behind convincing NBC’s Saturday Night Live to hire Melissa Villaseñor, the first Latina cast member ever in the show’s then-47-year history.
Felix Sanchez was a legislative assistant to then-U.S. Senator Lloyd Bentsen, D-TX, with principal responsibilities for issues arising from the U.S. Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee. Felix has been an advisor to numerous Democratic presidential and corporate campaigns. Felix served as the first National Deputy Campaign manager to the Paul Simon for President campaign. Felix went on to work on the Dukakis/Bentsen campaign as the head of the inaugural Hispanic Outreach office and originated the first Latino celebrity engagement/outreach campaign effort. Felix duplicated this role in the Clinton 1992, 1996 and Gore 2000 campaigns. Felix created a signature Florida campaign event with former President Clinton, then-Presidential Candidate Obama and former TV POTUS Jimmy Smits (The West Wing). Felix’s work on behalf of NHFA has been honored by the National Association of Latino Independent Producers (NALIP), (Advocacy Award), and the Government of Mexico (Ohtlí Award its highest national honor presented to Mexican American and Latino philanthropy leaders).
Felix serves on a number of advisory boards: the American Jewish Committee’s (AJC) Latino Jewish Leadership Council; the Kennedy Center Latino Advisory Board, the El Rey Network’s Diversity Council (Robert Rodriguez’s streaming platform); the Creative Thread Foundation and Storytelling Unbound. He also advises the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, Congressional Multicultural Media Caucus; and the Congressional Caucus for Advancement of Studio, Talent (CAST) on diversity and inclusion issues in the entertainment industry.
Felix is a CNN opinions contributor. Felix has a B.A. in Child Psychology and an M.A. in Curriculum & Instruction from The University of Texas at Austin; Felix also holds a J.D. in International Law from the University of Houston Law Center. Felix’s daughter, Isabella is a 2018 sum cum laude graduate of Boston University and his son Philippe is a 2020 West Point graduate, currently stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, Alaska. He developed PitchDC—a content pitch program—and PitchLA with ViacomCBS to connected development executives at CBS, Showtime, and CW, with NHFA’s artists. In June, PitchTexas with TelevisaUnivision will launch in Houston.