WAEF Welcomes New Executive Director Dr. Faviola BarbosaJennifer Witherbee
Dr. Faviola Barbosa is WAEF’s new executive director. Following a several month search, Dr. Barbosa began her new job on February 1st leading the tree fruit industry’s charity.
“I am so happy to welcome Faviola as the new Executive Director of WAEF. Her excitement and passion to work with students is easily conveyed when she shares what it means to be able to impact lives through access to educational opportunities. Her life story is compelling and includes deep familial ties to the fruit industry. I hope everyone associated with WAEF will have the opportunity to meet Faviola over these next several months and will join me in welcoming her to the WAEF family,” shared WAEF chairman Laurie Knebusch.
Dr. Barbosa worked within the Washington State Community & Technical Colleges system for over 18 years. Her passion has been to promote higher education to students from an early age. She believes this position is a perfect fit for her and stated the following, “I am so excited about the opportunity to promote access and support to students from the tree fruit industry pursuing higher education. Furthermore, I look forward to working with such an amazing team and the industry, continuing to strengthen the WAEF mission.”
Dr. Barbosa migrated from Mexico to the United States with her family at the age of 2. She grew up within the farmworking industry in Orondo, Washington, and is a first-generation Latinx. She earned a BA in Business Administration from Washington State University, an MS in College Student Affairs from Nova Southeastern University, and a Doctorate in Leadership in Higher Education from Capella University.
Dr. Barbosa is the fourth executive director in the foundation’s 28-year history. She follows outgoing executive director Jennifer Witherbee who served in the position for over 20 years and joins a WAEF staff that includes assistant director Xochitl Velazquez, donor relations manager Jamie Brunner, and scholarship coordinator Brenda Avina. Bios for each WAEF staff member are at www.waef.org.