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Sam Santiago  

Principal, Community Programs American Airlines

Originally from Puerto Rico, Sam obtained his early education at the Alliance Française and his undergraduate studies in Finance and Human Resources at the University of Puerto Rico. His current role at American makes him responsible for the strategic development and implementation of support programs for global employee giving and volunteering efforts as part of the larger CSR leadership team. A 20-year+ veteran in the airline and hospitality industries, he brings to the table experience in the fields of airline operations, corporate volunteering, human resources, workplace giving, diversity and corporate social responsibility, among others.

Sam spent his youth volunteering through a faith-based organization with focus on the deaf and hearing-impaired communities in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands. After years of personal and engagement as an employee volunteer, he joined American's corporate responsibility practice in 2006. In 2007, he launched American Airlines’ first global volunteering program – “American Volunteers”.

Sam serves in leadership roles with several organizations such as the International Association for Volunteer Effort, Out & Equal – Workplace Advocates, the Global Corporate Volunteer Council and the Volunteer Center of North Texas, among others. Sam has spoken extensively on the subjects of diversity, workplace equality, corporate social responsibility, employee volunteering and workplace giving at Texas Christian University, the Business Council for the Arts, Rice University, Disney Resorts, the European Volunteer Centre, Southern Methodist University and other national and international organizations. He's the recipient of the Earl G. Graves Award for Leadership, for his work in diversity and inclusion; and The President’s Volunteer Service Award, awarded by Points of Light for his work in the development of corporate volunteering as a professional practice.

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