WASHINGTON HEIGHTS — The uptown nonprofit Alianza Dominicana, which was rocked by a city investigation into its finances last year, has named a new executive director — a Washington Heights native and former Marine who has held leadership positions at area nonprofits.
The organization tapped Robert A. Espaillat to head the nonprofit after a nearly one year search to find a replacement for Moises Pérez, its former executive director who stepped down after the city discovered improper transactions between Pérez, Alianza Dominicana and a company that lends money to nonprofit organizations, according to reports at the time.
"This marks a new chapter for Alianza. With his strong background in finance, Mr. Espaillat will restore confidence in the organization," State Sen. Adriano Espaillat said in a written statement. "I look forward to working with him and all other leaders as we fight to strengthen and empower our community"
The senator and Espaillat are not related.
The Washington Heights-based community development nonprofit that serves Upper Manhattan announced the appointment Feb. 8. The nonprofit is thought to be the largest Dominican American nonprofit in the country.
"Robert Espaillat brings broad experience and leadership skills to the agency, which is a great fit for Alianza as it continues to re-emerge and fulfill its mission of strengthening the communities in which we serve," Mariela Fermin, chairwoman of the board for Alianza Dominicana, told New York Nonprofit Press.
"We are confident that Mr. Espaillat will deliver the leadership that is necessary to grow the organization and strengthen our programs. We look forward to welcoming Mr. Espaillat as our next Executive Director."
Espaillat is a Washington Heights native who has held leadership positions at area nonprofits, including president and CEO of ACCION New York Inc. and executive vice president and CEO for Seedco Financial.
He most recently served as executive vice president and COO of Renewal Capital Inc., a private equity firm in Connecticut.
Espaillat also served as a Marine during Operation Desert Shield, where he earned the nickname "The General,” according to a Crain’s New York article that named him one of its “40 Under Forty” in 2006.
"I'll always be a Marine," Espaillat told the magazine.