Congratulations to M.A. in LAS Student Estefanía Acuña Lacarieri, Recipient of the Tom Ford Fellowship in Philanthropy

Please join the Center for Latin American Studies (CLAS) in congratulating M.A. in Latin American Studies (LAS) student Estefanía Acuña Lacarieri on being awarded a Tom Ford Fellowship in Philanthropy

The Tom Ford Fellowship in Philanthropy was created in 2001 to provide young professionals with intensive, mentored experiences in domestic foundations in order to educate Stanford graduates about the role of philanthropy in society and encourage them to enter the field. The fellowship is made possible by the generous support of Susan Ford Dorsey's Sand Hill Foundation and Philanthropic Ventures Foundation. 

The Ford Fellowship celebrates the life of Tom Ford, whose contributions to Stanford stretch back to 1955. Over time, Ford touched many corners of campus through his involvement as a Trustee of the Children’s Hospital at Stanford, a member of the Stanford Athletic Board, a ten-year Stanford University Trustee, and an invaluable leader of the Haas Center National Advisory Board. Ford’s endeavors off-campus included his position as Managing Partner of the Ford Land Company and the development of 3000 Sand Hill Road, a well-known venture capital address in Silicon Valley.

Estefanía Acuña Lacarieri is part of the M.A. in Latin American Studies 2023 - 2024 cohort at CLAS. Her interests and research focuses include immigration policy, human rights, international relations, renewable energy, and political activism. 

Born and raised in Mexico City, Estefanía often accompanied her grandfather to neighborhood association meetings, where he advocated for residents’ interests and empowered others to fight for their rights. Her grandfather thrived by lifting others, which inspired Estefanía to pursue a career in public service as a leader who will advocate for human rights. Her passion for public service has imbued her Stanford journey with purpose and meaning. As an undergraduate, she participated in community-engaged courses through the Haas Center for Public Service, where she learned directly from communities about local issues and collaborated with inspiring organizations such as Democracy Moves and Freedom for Immigrants. She also served as vice president of Philanthropy at Stanford Latino, spearheading fundraising initiatives to support Latin American communities across the United States. As a recipient of the Haas Center’s International Public Service Summer Fellowship, Estefanía worked as a policy and communications intern at the Mexican Fund for the Conservation of Nature, where she drafted multilateral funding proposals and communicated with multiple stakeholders. This experience inspired her to learn more about the role that philanthropy plays in catalyzing social change and channeling resources to causes that are underfunded or neglected.

Estefanía’s interest in human rights also motivated her to write a capstone project about migrant minors’ experiences as an integral component of her master's program in Latin American studies. Her research explores how the Mexican press portrayed Central American children. With her research, Estefanía hopes to make tangible recommendations that will steer the media away from sensationalist narratives that dehumanize migrant minors. As a Tom Ford Fellow, Estefanía looks forward to learning how philanthropy can be used as a tool to advance equity. She aims to explore how philanthropic enterprises invest strategically in human rights initiatives and how philanthropy brings serviceoriented leaders together to create a more just and rights-respecting world. Estefanía hopes that the Ford Fellowship will be the first stepping stone on the path to a career dedicated to effective service.

*Note: Part of this text is taken from the 2024-25 Tom Ford Fellowship in Philanthropy announcement by the Haas Center for Public Service