Ricardo Benavidez

Senior Community Relations Manager

Ricardo has been with Cisco since 1999. As a Senior Community Relations Manager, he oversees corporate social responsibility (CSR) programs in Silicon Valley as well as community investment in key locations worldwide. Through public-private partnerships, Ricardo directs Cisco’s cash, products, and people into communities to generate positive and sustainable change in education and economic development. Prior to joining Community Relations, he was influential in the adoption of the Cisco Networking Academy program into emerging countries. Ricardo was responsible for growing and maintaining partnerships with other technology companies in support of developing IT skills in students worldwide. After four successful years in sales and engineering operations, Ricardo returned to his CSR roots in 2009. Ricardo holds business degrees from Santa Clara University and Saint Mary’s College of California. His community insight and business acumen enable Ricardo to collaborate across government, business, and nonprofit sectors.


An Enduring Commitment to Strengthening Cisco’s Communities

3 min read

It started one day with a quiet knock on a classroom door where I was volunteering. A student at Joseph George middle-school in East San Jose asked if she could continue building her solar car at lunch time. Soon, she was joined by a one friend, then another. Pretty soon, they would come three or […]

A Seismic STEM Challenge

2 min read

Over 2000 innovators came together in San Jose recently to examine ways to ensure that buildings can survive powerful earthquakes. This was no ordinary trade show. It wasn’t an industry conference filled with engineers and seismologists, policymakers and building managers. Instead, the more than 2000 participants were students, grades 4 through 12, from across Silicon […]

Mentoring At-Risk Students Good for Our Hearts and Minds

2 min read

Last week, I was acknowledged by the Alum Rock Counseling Center for my personal commitment to mentoring at-risk students. As I prepared my thank you remarks, I was reminded how much I value youth mentoring nonprofits such as Alum Rock, Big Brother Big Sisters, and Child Advocates. Through mentor-mentee relationships, students are propelled to learn, to grow, and to […]

Cisco is a Top Silicon Valley Corporate Philanthropist

1 min read

Last week, Cisco was once again named a top corporate philanthropist by the Silicon Valley Business Journal. Cisco ranked #2 with US$19.2 million in contributions to Silicon Valley nonprofits and community organizations — just $240,000 behind the #1 corporate donor, the Sobrato Organization. By lending our support in our backyard, we hope to demonstrate our belief that what […]

Cisco Recognized for Raising 55 Million Pounds of Food for Local Charity

2 min read

Last night I was proud to join other Cisco staff and executives in accepting four “Making Hunger History” awards from the Second Harvest Food Bank near our San Jose headquarters. Cisco has supported Second Harvest for more than 20 years, and in that time we have raised the equivalent of 55 million pounds of food for […]

Multiplying the Impact of Food and Housing Relief

4 min read

When you have a regular paycheck, a roof over your head, your health, and a fully stocked refrigerator, it’s easy to focus on other activities of daily living. But when you lack one or all of these things, your focus is on surviving. I know all this from first-hand experience. As a child, I helped […]