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Zelica Rodriguez-Deams

Director, Thriving Communities

Silicon Valley Program

Zelica Rodriguez-Deams serves as the Director of Thriving Communities, leading a dedicated team in the implementation of a place-based strategy across East San Jose and North Fair Oakes in Redwood City. Her focus is on enhancing pathways to economic mobility by prioritizing community voices and needs. Through a comprehensive approach involving grantmaking, collective impact efforts, and policy advocacy, Zelica is committed to achieving multi-generational impact.

Before her current role at The Sobrato Organization, Zelica held the position of Director of the Office of Immigrant Relations at the County of Santa Clara. In this capacity, she spearheaded the emergency funding strategy for Afghan Refugee Resettlement, expanded the New American Fellowship program, and initiated an immigrant needs assessment in collaboration with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation and the Othering and Belonging Institute.

Zelica is a proud graduate of Hispanas Organizing for Political Equality (HOPE) and Latino Leadership Alliance (LLA). She is a founding member of the Si Se Puede Collective, which strives to enhance access to high-quality programs addressing multi-generational poverty in East San Jose. She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of California, Santa Cruz, with a double major in Sociology and Latin American and Latino Studies, and furthered her academic journey by obtaining a Master's in Political Science from San Francisco State University.

Originally from San Francisco, Zelica and her husband Dewayne are raising three daughters. She enjoys dancing, quality time with family and friends, and endeavors to recreate her grandmother's cherished recipes.