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NaFFAA Welcomes Almira Astudillo Gilles as New Executive Director

The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA), the largest national non-profit dedicated to promoting the welfare and well-being of the over four million Filipinos and Filipino Americans in the United States, is pleased to announce the appointment of Almira Astudillo Gilles as its new Executive Director.

Amid NaFFAA’s rigorous search for its next Executive Director, Mr. Ryan Namata, NaFFAA Director of Human Capital and Capital Region President, stepped into the role, temporarily filling the position previously held by Ms. Kelly Ilagan Coldiron.

Ryan Namata will transition to the role of National Operations Officer, while Almira Gilles will focus on leading programmatic development and fundraising efforts for upcoming flagship initiatives aligned with NaFFAA’s four pillars: national advocacy, civic engagement, leadership development, and advancing Filipino culture and arts in the US.

A Collaborative Approach to Leadership

Almira Astudillo Gilles brings a wealth of expertise to her new role, having a background in Behavioral Science and a track record of success in project management, grant writing, and development. Her most recent position was as Manager and Talent Pipeline for the Certified Financial Planners Board of Standards, Inc. in Washington, D.C., where she excelled in producing data analytics reports for executive leadership and building a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce in financial planning.
Gilles also serves as a part-time Associate Producer for the documentary film “An Open Door: Holocaust Haven in the Philippines,” managing screening and promotional activities. Additionally, she holds the role of Research Associate at the Field Museum Chicago, where she contributes to securing philanthropic funding for projects related to the Philippine artifacts collection.
Before her appointment to NaFFAA, Gilles had actively participated in numerous nonprofit organizations, focusing on cultural heritage, creative arts, and civic service. When asked about her vision for her role in NaFFAA, Gilles expressed her enthusiasm: “I’m very excited about this opportunity for many reasons. One is the values and mission of the organization. They really line up with my own personal values and with the kind of work that I have been doing.”
Gilles emphasized her commitment to collaboration, saying, “I am excited to collaborate with and learn from our various Filipino and Asian organizations in the U.S. and dive deep into the possibilities of such a vast network.”

Feeling the Need to Serve in our Filipino American Community

When Gilles learned that NaFFAA urgently required an Interim Executive Director with expertise in grant funding and development, she was inspired to offer her skills and experience. Gilles shared her motivation, saying, “I had been on the sidelines of NaFFAA for many years now and believed that now is the perfect time to be more involved and tap into the energy and resources NaFFAA already has to achieve its potential even more. I look forward to giving all I have to improve our community and make a positive difference.”

Making a Positive Change through our Fil Ams and Connecting to Our Roots

Gilles stressed the importance of harnessing the talents and capacities of Filipino American individuals and groups, stating, “Improving our entire Fil Am community requires a team effort. I will work on further developing our successful model of empowerment through partnership, as I’m committed to deepening NaFFAA’s relationships with community leaders, philanthropists, and corporate leaders to sustain, diversify, and grow our impact.”
She added, “A deep connection with our homeland and affirmation of our ancestral identity can provide comfort and strength during troubled times.”

"Almira brings to the role decades of experience in building, elevating, and managing diverse workforces and mobilizing resources and political support for a broad range of initiatives."

Brendan Flores, NaFFAA Immediate Past President, expressed his warm welcome to Almira Gilles, affirming that she has the full support of the NaFFAA Board as she takes on this critical leadership role.

Contact: Mark Eyo,
Communications Lead

About NaFFAA

The National Federation of Filipino American Associations (NaFFAA) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization. Established in 1997, NaFFAA has been the standard bearer for promoting the welfare and well-being of the 4 million Filipinos and Filipino Americans throughout the United States. NaFFAA’s vision is to serve as the voice of all Filipinos and Filipino Americans by uniting, engaging, and empowering diverse individuals and community organizations through leadership development, civic engagement, and national advocacy.