Posted on June 29, 2017 in Press Releases

Fred_Rotondaro_2.4.56b69ab401cfaad619ad5fb1b7b8bf49.jpgFred Rotondaro, an Italian American leader, died on June 26th. He was, by every measure, a remarkable man. What many may not realize is that he was also responsible with providing Arab Americans political access at a time, in the 1970s and 1980s, when many in Washington refused to work with our community. Fred always led by example and took the time to teach Arab American leaders the nuts and bolts of ethnic politics. He gave our community a boost when others would not. He was there for the launch of AAI and continued to be a supporter of the Institute throughout the years.

His leadership, friendship and guidance will be sorely missed but never forgotten.


Founded in 1985, the Arab American Institute (AAI) is a nonprofit organization committed to the civic and political empowerment of Americans of Arab descent.  AAI provides policy, research and public affairs services to support a broad range of community activities. For more information please visit


Obituary for Alfred Rotondaro

Died on Monday, June 26, 2017 in Shady Side, MD due to a brain tumor. Born in Pittston, PA, on June 26, 1939 to the late Rose and Angelo Rotondaro, Fred was the beloved husband of Kathleen Mullan Rotondaro; devoted father of Vinnie (Audrey Neff) Rotondaro and Cara (Justin) McDonough; proud nonno of Nora, Gabriel and Adriana McDonough; loving brother of Mary Thomas and fond uncle to many nieces and nephews. After receiving his Master’s Degree at Creighton University, Fred was a professor at his alma mater, the University of Scranton, and earned a PhD in American Studies from New York University. Fred went on to serve as Executive Director of the Community Progress Council in York, PA where he met his wife. Moving to Washington, DC, Fred became the Communications Director of the National Center for Urban Ethnic Affairs. He then served as the Executive Director of the National Italian American Foundation for 22 years. Following his retirement, Fred was a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress, the chair of Catholics In Alliance for the Common Good and the treasurer of the Italian American Democratic Leadership Council. He was a friend and mentor to many, and was fiercely devoted to his family, who were his pride and joy and greatest source of strength. Friends are invited to celebrate Fred's life on Thursday from 6 to 8 pm at the George P. Kalas Funeral Home, 2973 Solomons Island Rd., Edgewater, MD. A Mass of Christian Burial will be offered on Friday, June 30 at 12 noon at Our Lady of Sorrows Catholic Church, 101 Owensville Rd., West River, MD. Condolences and tributes may be made by clicking here.