Felipe Sousa-Lazaballet (he/they) is the newly appointed Executive Director of Hope Community Center, in Apopka.
In addition to managing day-to-day operations, leading 30 staff members, overseeing the management of seven programs, and increasing financial support for the 50-year-old organization; Felipe collaborates with community advocates, supporters, leaders, and organizations throughout Central Florida to drive the interconnectedness and synergy of Hope’s programs. His first-hand understanding of the immigrant experience along with his vision, passion, and power of networks have refreshed Hope's support, empowerment, and advocacy for immigrants and others who are tenacious and courageous in the face of all systems of oppression.
Prior to joining Hope, Felipe was the Inclusion, Diversity & Equity Sr Specialist for the Office of Multicultural Affairs at the City of Orlando. In this position, he proposed policy recommendations and programs; advocated for best practices on LGBTQ+ issues and immigrant and refugee affairs; and directed outreach to the Muslim, Brazilian, and Haitian communities to encourage greater participation in city services.
A proud immigrant from Brazil, Felipe came to Miami when he was only 14 years old. In 2010, he walked on the Trail of Dreams, a 1,500-mile walk from Miami to Washington, DC, to share the stories of immigrant youth and to push for administrative relief for millions of undocumented immigrants. He also worked with Presente.org, an organization seeking to solve some of the most pressing issues impacting the Latino community through communication strategies.
A graduate of Miami-Dade College with an Associate of Arts in International Relations and a bachelor's degree in Business Studies with a Minor in Economics from St. Thomas University, Felipe was also Co-Director of GetEQUAL, a national social justice LGBTQ organization; served as the Deputy Managing Director at United We Dream, the largest immigrant youth network in the country; and worked at ThoughtWorks, a multinational software company, working at the Office of Social Change Initiatives as the Director of Strategic Partnerships.
Felipe is happily married to Luis Sousa-Lazaballet (he/him) and together they have a beautiful puppy, Cosito.
He is also on the board of Blisscares Healthcare, is the co-chair for Orlando’s WorldPride 2026 bid, and he is the chair of the One Orlando Alliance board of directors.