Chief Operating Officer
As a successful business executive and former Army officer, Pete Nájera brings a wealth of leadership and management experience in supervising the day to day operations of Sterling Foundation Management. He leads a team of associates committed to business process excellence in providing the best customer experience possible. As a member of the management team, Pete also plays a key role in strategy development and execution as it pertains to private foundation administration and the sale of income streams from Charitable Remainder Trusts (CRTs).
Prior to joining Sterling, Pete served as Vice President for the world’s largest biomass energy producer, which he helped build from a pre-revenue startup. With a global footprint of facilities and associated supply chain, Pete supervised a $300 million international operation in Europe, Latin America, and throughout the United States. A recognized expert in Lean Thinking, Pete successfully established a culture of continuous improvement and built a high-performing team that achieved excellence in every corner of the enterprise.
A former Army Officer and combat veteran, Pete honed his leadership and critical thinking skills in adverse and high pressure conditions around the world to include the DMZ in Korea, the Cold War border between East and West Germany, Operation Desert Storm in Iraq, and the Green Line in Cyprus. He was awarded the Bronze Star and the Valorous Unit Award for his combat service.
A trained strategist, Pete also served in the Pentagon as a Harvard Fellow and advisor to the Secretary of Defense, and later in the Executive Office of the President as a White House Fellow.
Pete’s community service and philanthropic endeavors include volunteering with Habitat for Humanity and the Northern Virginia Chapter of Special Olympics. He is also a supporter of National Children’s Medical Center, Best Buddies International, and the YMCA. Pete is a past board member of the Hispanic Alumni of Notre Dame and the US-Japan Leadership Program.
Pete has been recognized with a number of national and regional leadership awards including the prestigious MacArthur Leadership Award, the Draper Leadership Award, and Notre Dame’s Corby Award for distinguished government service. A member of the Council on Foreign Relations, Pete has also served as a Young Leader Fellow in Britain, France, Austria and Japan.
Pete earned his undergraduate degree in Business Administration from the University of Notre Dame and earned a master’s degree from Harvard University.