Spotlight | Solange Fernández Brooks
New America Alliance (NAA) announces the appointment of Solange Fernández Brooks as its new Chief Executive Officer, beginning January 2020. Mrs. Brooks has served as Portfolio Manager within the Investments Branch of the California State Teachers’ Retirement System (CalSTRS), where she manages a global portfolio of limited partnerships.
Mrs. Brooks joined CalSTRS, the second largest pension fund in the nation with assets totaling approximately $246 billion, reporting directly to the Chief Investment Officer in the Investments Executive Unit. Mrs. Brooks established one of the country’s leading emerging manager fund portfolios. Her diverse set of experiences added tremendous value to the portfolio, and to the relationships with the state legislature, trustees, and beneficiaries which CalSTRS serves.
Christopher Ailman, CalSTRS’ Chief Investment Officer, shared: “While we are sorry to see Solange leave, we are thrilled for NAA. Solange joined us in 2004 to help expand the diversity of our investment partners. She helped establish CalSTRS as a pacesetter among our peers. She will be a huge asset to NAA, and she joins the ranks of amazing CalSTRS alumni impacting our industry.”
Mrs. Brooks is widely recognized as a leader in the investment community and her contributions to capital access for emerging and diverse managers is well known. She was bestowed by the National Association of Investment Companies the 2008 Award of Excellence, which is awarded to an individual who has demonstrated personal achievement in their career, and made outstanding contributions through influence and direct actions to the promotion and benefit of minority business ownership. New America Alliance honored her with the 2012 Pension Leadership Award for Promoting Latino Advancement. Mrs. Brooks has been a long-time supporter of the efforts of the Robert Toigo Foundation by being part of the Advisory Committee and serving as Chair from 2009-2014.
Prior to joining CalSTRS, Mrs. Brooks served on the Corrections Independent Review Panel headed by former California Governor George Deukmejian. Mrs. Brooks formerly served as Deputy Director of the California Governor’s Office of Community Relations, and spent nine years in the correctional field, where she carried out various leadership positions – Chief Deputy Inspector General; Assistant Agency Secretary, Policy and Planning; and Chief Executive Officer for the California Commission on Correctional Peace Officer Standards and Training.
She is a United States Air Force veteran and has served as an adjunct professor at Sacramento City College. Her undergraduate education is in international business and economics, and she earned a Master in Business Administration from the California State University, Sacramento.
NAA Board Chair Gerson R. Guzman shared, “We are excited to have Solange lead the organization. The NAA was organized 20 years ago on the principle that American Latino business leaders have a special responsibility to lead the process of building the forms of economic, political, and human capital crucial to Latino progress. As we look forward to the impact the organization can make in the next 20 years, we cannot think of anyone better situated and as accomplished to help us achieve our goals to increase capital access for women and minority-owned firms, and to accelerate diverse leadership in asset management, entrepreneurship, corporate America, and public service.”
Mrs. Brooks shared, “I am energized by the opportunity to lead the NAA efforts at this critical time in our country. I look forward to collaborating with all NAA members and friends in making new roads for success. As a great Spanish poet once said, Caminante, no hay camino, se hace camino al andar!” (Walker, there is no path, the path is made by walking.)