NIAF Mourns the Passing of Former Executive Director of NIAF Alfred Rotondaro

(Washington, D.C. – June 28, 2017) The National Italian American Foundation (NIAF) mourns
the sudden passing of Alfred Rotondaro, the former executive director of NIAF, Senior Fellow at
the Center for American Progress, and a leading figure in the Italian American community.
“On behalf of our Board of Directors and our entire NIAF family, I can say this is a loss that is
being felt both personally and for our organization as a whole,” said John M. Viola, NIAF
president and chief operating officer. “For over 20 years, Fred Rotondaro was an incredibly
important part of building this organization into what it is today. In the time that I got to know him
as a friend and a mentor, he shared incredible insights and his infectious passion for the Italian
American community. Honoring him with the NIAF Community Leadership Award at our 40th
Anniversary Gala was a highlight of my time here at the Foundation, and I hope a small way to
recognize a man who deserves all the credit in the world for what we are today. His loss will be
deeply felt.”
Born in Pittston, Pa., in 1939, Rotondaro earned undergraduate degrees in English and
Philosophy from the University of Scranton, a Master’s degree in English from Creighton
University, and his PhD in American Studies from New York University. After receiving his
Master’s degree, Rotondaro became a professor at the University of Scranton. He would go on
to serve as executive director of the Community Progress Council in York, Pa., before moving to
Washington, D.C., where he served as the executive director of NIAF for 22 years.
Throughout his career, Rotondaro worked as the communications director of the National
Center for Urban Ethnic Affairs, the chair of Catholics In Alliance for the Common Good, and the
treasurer of the Italian American Democratic Leadership Council. He was also a board member
of the Greater Washington Urban League, the International Review of African American Art, the
National Colonial Farm, the Faith and Public Policy Institute and the Advisory Council of the
Arab American Institute. Following his retirement, Rotondaro served as a senior fellow at the
Center for American Progress. In 2015, NIAF honored him at its 40th Anniversary Gala with the
NIAF Community Leadership Award for his outstanding work within the Italian American
community.
Rotondaro was a strong proponent of the Italian American community, which was evident not
only in his work, but in the friends and family he left behind. He passed away on June 26, 2017.