José Atilio Hernández has worked for the past twenty-two years developing and implementing policy solutions at the local, state, and federal levels. Currently, Mr. Hernández serves as the Founder and President of IDEATE California, a public relations and policy management firm, and is the founder of ideateLABS, a non-profit policy think tank and training lab.  At IDEATE, he works with a team of consultants to manage policy development for public, private, non-profit, and philanthropic clients as well as build diverse coalitions and networks. 

Prior to IDEATE California, Mr. Hernández served a Director for External Affairs and Community Relations for ConnectEd: The California Center for College and Career.  Mr. Hernandez assisted in developing ConnectEd’s state-wide and federal legislative agenda as well as establishing and managing an intentionally diverse coalition of community and equity organizations, business leaders, and educational practitioners.  

Mr. Hernández worked for six years in the California State Senate as the Director of Policy and Development for the 20th Senate District, serving as a member’s consultant to the Utilities and Energy Committee, the Principal Consultant to the Senate Select Committee on College and University Admissions and Outreach, a Consultant to the Joint Committee to Develop a Master Plan to End Poverty in California and staffed the Education and Health Committees. 

Mr. Hernández is currently the Board Chair of ideateLABs and the Board Chair of Pacoima Beautiful. He is a member on the California Neighborhood Through Empowerment Board. He is the former Board Chair of the California Public Utilities Commission’s Low-Income Oversight Board, the former Board Chair of the Salvadoran American Leadership Educational Forum, and the former Board Chairman of Brightline Defense Project.  

Mr. Hernández has provided support to the California Assembly Select Committee on the Status of Boys and Men of Color since 2012 and was recognized as an Equity Fellow by the Education Trust West in 2018.   

Mr. Hernandez began his public engagement, and community-relations work at Latino Issues Forum, a statewide public policy and advocacy organization in San Francisco.  He received his B.A. in Sociology from the University of California at Berkeley.