Austin Community Foundation is excited to announce Toya Bell and Montse Fuentes have joined the Board of Governors. As volunteers from a variety of backgrounds, each member of the board provides the guidance and perspective to carry out the Foundation’s strategic priorities.
Bell and Fuentes bring varied experience and knowledge to assist the community foundation’s work to close the opportunity gap in Central Texas. In their new roles, they will provide governance over strategic planning and policy and responsibly steward more than $400 million in assets over a three-year term.
Get to know each of the new board members below.
Toya Bell is a retired career attorney with a legacy of professional and community engagement. Toya was born in Japan and grew up in San Antonio, Texas. She began working in Austin in 1992 and relocated shortly after completing a judicial clerkship for the Texas Court of Appeals.
Over the years, Toya has served on many boards and held leadership positions with the Austin Young Lawyers Association, Austin Bar Foundation, Austin Black Lawyers Association, Travis County Women Lawyers Association, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Junior League of Austin, Lone Star Girl Scouts Council, Long Center for the Performing Arts, Greenlights, Conspirare, Association of Rice University Alumni-Austin, ASA Austin, Town Lake Links, Executive Women in Texas Government, and the Greater Austin Black Chamber of Commerce.
Bell has received numerous accolades for her career and community accomplishments. She is a graduate of Rice University and received her law degree from the College of William & Mary.
Montserrat ‘Montse’ Fuentes
Montse Fuentes, Ph.D., is president of St. Edward’s University and an accomplished administrator, researcher, and professor of statistics. Prior to becoming the first Hispanic president of St. Edward’s University in 2021, she was the executive vice president and provost for the University of Iowa, where she championed entrepreneurial and real-world training, curricular initiatives, leverage of technology, and civic engagement to enhance student success.
A native of Spain, Fuentes immigrated to the United States after she was recruited as a graduate student by the University of Chicago, where she earned a Ph.D. in statistics. Before becoming executive vice president and provost at the University of Iowa, Fuentes also served as Dean of Humanities and Sciences at Virginia Commonwealth University.
Beyond her academic achievements, Fuentes has championed the areas of diversity, equity, and inclusion through work that has helped women, people of color, and disadvantaged students reach their full potential.