KANSAS CITY, MISSOURI – The Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City announced Senior Community Development Advisor, Ariel Cisneros, has been named the first recipient of the newly created External LinkJanet L. Yellen Award for Excellence in Community Development. The award honors outstanding achievement in community development activities and those who embody Yellen’s commitment to low- and moderate-income communities. Federal Reserve Board Chairman Jerome H. Powell and former Fed Chair Janet Yellen presented the award to Cisneros on Dec. 3, in Washington.

“This is a great honor for the Kansas City Fed and for Ariel,” said Tammy Edwards, vice president of Community Development and director of the Kansas City Fed’s Office of Minority and Women Inclusion. “These community development initiatives are imperative resources to local communities and vital to developing a strong and healthy economy.”

Cisneros led the creation and growth of Investment Connection (IC), a Kansas City Fed signature program that matches funders with nonprofit organizations that have projects focused on meeting a community need. Since its inception, Investment Connection has assisted in securing more than $31 million in funding for nonprofits throughout the seven-state district.

“Ariel successfully translated a complex investment process into a simple application and expanded it to include not only financial institutions but also foundations and government agencies charged with funding local economic development programs,” Edwards added. “This awards recognizes not only the IC program, but Ariel’s unwavering commitment to contribute to the advancement of building stronger communities.”

IC is hosted in Kansas City, Oklahoma City, Denver, Albuquerque, and Omaha. Each event is tailored to the branch office and its local community. The success of the program across the Kansas City Fed’s region led to its expansion at Bank of External LinkSt. Louis and Bank of External LinkMinneapolis in 2018.

“The most rewarding aspect of my job is being part of the commitment and passion from our constituents in our region and supporting them in building stronger, more vibrant communities,” Cisneros said.

Before joining the Kansas City Fed, Cisneros worked at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and in Botswana, Africa as a community extension officer. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science with a focus on international development from the University of Texas at Austin and is a graduate of the Graduate School of Banking at the University of Colorado.

The Bank’s Community Development team promotes fair and impartial access to financial products through research, relationship building and resource development. As the regional headquarters of the nation’s central bank, the Kansas City Fed and its branch offices in Denver, Oklahoma City and Omaha serve the seven states of the Tenth District: Colorado, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, Wyoming, northern New Mexico and western Missouri.