Graduation Year: 2007
Degree: Master of Public Affairs
Erica Villarreal Ekwurzel, a 2007 LBJ graduate and Nonprofit Portfolio Program alum, established Advocacy in Motion (AIM) in 2012 to help civically minded organizations build capacity in executing their social change missions. AIM helps clients leverage their financial investments, time, and brainpower to create meaningful change in the communities they serve.
Erica said that starting her own consulting practice was the next natural step for her after serving as program officer and grantee consultant with the KDK-Harman Foundation for six years. (She started with KDK through the Summer Foundation Internship Program.) At the foundation, she helped KDK develop its high engagement approach to philanthropy and refined her expertise in nonprofit organizational development working directly with grantees. She also participated in the creation of several advocacy networks and grantmaker groups such as the Central Texas Education Funders and the Texas Education Grantmakers Advocacy Consortium.
In her new consulting role, Erica says she has renewed connections with numerous classmates from her LBJ School days, reaching out to alums in public service and social impact organizations and meeting with policymakers across the state and nationally. Her current work with AIM, she says, is based on her commitment to the belief that democracy thrives when people and communities are informed and engaged.