WASHINGTON – Today, President Biden announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to serve as members on the President’s Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics:
- Jules Buenabenta, Chair
- Ana Marie Argilagos
- Noel Candelaria
- Anna María Chávez
- Evelyn DeJesus
- Ana María García Blanco
- Olivia C. Irlando
- Leah Beth Katz-Hernandez
- Regina Montoya
- Enrique G. Murillo, Jr.
- Pedro Antonio Noguera
- Amanda Renteria
- Maria Angela Reyes
- Cristóbal Rodríguez
- Havidán Rodríguez
- Teresa Leyba Ruiz
- Renata Soto
- Juliana Urtubey
- Cid D. Wilson
- Magda N. Yrizarry
- Andrea Zayas
President’s Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics
The President’s Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics shall provide advice to the President through the Secretary on matters pertaining to educational equity and economic opportunity for the Hispanic and Latino community, including: (i) what is needed for the development, implementation, and coordination of educational programs and initiatives at the Department and other agencies to improve educational opportunities and outcomes for Hispanics and Latinos; (ii) how to promote career pathways for in-demand jobs for Hispanic and Latino students, including registered apprenticeships, internships, fellowships, mentorships, and work-based learning initiatives; (iii) ways to strengthen the capacity of institutions, such as HSIs, to equitably serve Hispanic and Latino students and increase the participation of Hispanic and Latino students, Hispanic-serving school districts, and the Hispanic community in the programs of the Department and other agencies; (iv) how to increase public awareness of and generate solutions for the educational and training challenges and equity disparities that Hispanic and Latino students face and the causes of these challenges; and (v) approaches to establish local and national partnerships with public, private, philanthropic, and nonprofit stakeholders to advance the mission and objectives of this order, consistent with applicable law.
Jules Buenabenta, Chair, President’s Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics
Jules Buenabenta is the CEO of Jules and Associates Inc., one of the largest privately owned equipment leasing companies in the country. He is also the manager and majority shareholder of Vendor Direct Solutions LLC, a records, facilities, and IT management company. Knowing the role that higher education has played in his career, Buenabenta devotes his time and resources to his alma mater, the University of Southern California (USC). Most recently, Buenabenta was appointed to serve on the USC Marshall School of Business’ Board of Councilors, which provides strategic advice and counsel to the school’s dean. Passionate about opening doors for Hispanic students, he is the former co-chair of the USC Associates’ Diversity and Inclusion Committee, currently supports the USC Latino Alumni Association, and participates in growth initiatives aimed to expand the bonds between USC and the Hispanic community. USC has honored him for his outreach and engagement with its prestigious Alumni Service Award.
Buenabenta is a trustee for the Catholic Education Foundation, which has provided more than $170 million in scholarships to Hispanic students in Los Angeles’ underserved communities, and serves as a member of the finance committee responsible for administering the Foundation’s $400+ million endowment. He also serves on the Providence Saint John’s Health Center Local Board of Directors and the Board of Trustees of the Saint John’s Health Center Foundation. Born into a family rooted in New Mexico for over 10 generations, Buenabenta was raised on the Santo Domingo Pueblo Reservation. He resides in Southern California with his wife and their three children.
Ana Marie Argilagos, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics
Ana Marie Argilagos is President and CEO of Hispanics in Philanthropy (HIP), a vast network of donors building, funding, and fueling Latino power across the Americas. Argilagos guides HIP with a bold vision: to usher in a new generation of democratized philanthropy that is for, by, and about the Latinx community. Before joining HIP, Argilagos was a Senior Advisor at the Ford Foundation and a Senior Program Officer at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. In addition to her career spanning philanthropy, academia, and the nonprofit sectors, Argilagos was appointed to serve in the federal government during two administrations. She has been recognized for her creativity and bold vision with numerous awards. She currently serves on the boards of Rockefeller Philanthropy Advisors, CANDID, the Chronicle of Philanthropy, Poder Latinx, and the Santa Fe Community Foundation. She received her Master’s in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and her Bachelor’s in International Relations from American University.
She divides her time between Santa Fe, New Mexico, and Washington, D.C. Argilagos enjoys spending her free time hiking with her husband Rodger Boyd, hanging out with her daughter Alexia, or at the beach with her family in Puerto Rico.
Noel Candelaria, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics
Noel Candelaria is the Secretary-Treasurer of the National Education Association (NEA), the nation’s largest professional organization. In this role, Candelaria’s primary responsibility is managing and maintaining the Association’s multimillion-dollar strategic plan and budget centered in the organizations vision to fulfill the promise of great public schools for every student. Candelaria is the immediate past-President of the Texas State Teachers Association (TSTA), the state affiliate of the NEA. Prior to his election as TSTA president, Candelaria served three years as TSTA Vice President after a distinguished tenure as President of the Ysleta Teachers Association in El Paso, Texas, where he worked as a teacher’s aide and special education teacher in the Ysleta Independent School District, teaching subjects ranging from Algebra to World History.
A son of Mexican immigrants and tireless advocate for educators and students, he is often joined in his advocacy work by his wife Patty, a National Board-Certified Teacher. Candelaria believes in the value and power of relationships that are based on trust, whether they are formed in the classroom, the community, or the halls of political power. Candelaria relies on those relationships – at the local, state, and national levels – to keep the doors of success open and accessible to all students. Candelaria holds a Bachelor’s degree in Interdisciplinary Studies and Education from the University of Texas at El Paso.
Anna María Chávez, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics
Anna María Chávez brings over twenty-five years of experience in education, government, technology, and non-profit organizational leadership and management to her role as Co-Founder and President of Fearless Global Initiative. The Fearless Global Initiative is an international organization that unifies & amplifies advocacy for girls. Born and raised in the small town of Eloy, Arizona to Mexican-American parents, Chávez learned at an early age the importance of being a leader in her local community.
Chávez’s desire to transform the world through servant leadership led her to Yale University, before pursuing a juris doctorate at the University of Arizona. She held numerous posts in President Bill Clinton’s administration, and later returned to Arizona to serve Governors Jane Hull and Janet Napolitano. She then served as CEO of Girl Scouts of the USA and CEO of the National School Boards Association. In 2016, she was recognized as one of the “World’s 50 Greatest Leaders” by Fortune and in 2021 was named one of the “Top 50 Over 50 Women Leaders” by Forbes.
Evelyn DeJesus, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics
Evelyn DeJesus has been the Executive Vice President of the 1.7 million-member American Federation of Teachers (AFT), AFL-CIO, since 2019 – she is the first Latino/a officer in the union’s 105-year history. First elected as an AFT Vice President in 2014, she currently chairs the AFT’s Latino Issues Task Force and serves as the presiding officer of the AFT Asian American and Pacific Islander and AFT LGBTQIA+ task forces. In 2021, she joined the Executive Boards of the AFL-CIO and the Solidarity Center and became Secretary-Treasurer of the Labor Council for Latin American Advancement. At the AFL-CIO, she serves on the Racial Justice Task Force and the Immigration Committee. She also serves on the Board of Directors of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute and was recently elected to serve as President of the National Association for Bilingual Education.
A native Puertorriqueña who grew up in New York City’s Lower East Side, DeJesus traveled an unexpected road from engaged parent to educator and trade unionist. When one of her daughters became ill during a school construction project, DeJesus exposed the toxic environment caused by asbestos. Her whistleblowing actions led to the Great Asbestos Scandal of 1993 and a citywide shutdown of the schools until asbestos could be safely removed from school buildings. As an early childhood teacher and reading specialist, she taught for two decades in New York’s Chinatown and has made literacy and support for multilingual learners her signature curricular issues. DeJesus is also a chaplain under the New York State Chaplain Task Force. Her spirituality extends into every aspect of her life, and she credits her faith for her achievements. She is the proud wife of Louie and the mother of two beautiful daughters, Tiffany and Kristina. She has been blessed with five grandchildren.
Ana María García Blanco, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics
Ana María García Blanco is a Puerto Rican educator with decades of experience working to improve student achievement and foster community engagement in public schools. Since 2009, she has served as the Executive Director of the Instituto Nuevo Escuela (INE), a nonprofit organization devoted to transforming public schools through the Montessori method. INE, which García Blanco co-founded, has enabled 45 public schools to implement Montessori. Prior to that, García Blanco served as a Principal in a public school for 23 years. In 1990, she reopened the Juan Ponce de León School alongside community leaders, where she introduced Montessori pedagogy and the participative governance model, which increased student achievement and parents’ participation, eliminated dropouts, and decreased violence. García Blanco holds a Bachelor’s from Harvard University, where she simultaneously worked in Cambridge and Boston public schools. After obtaining her Master in Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education (HGSE) in 1981, she worked as an elementary school teacher in Puerto Rico until returning to HGSE in 1990 and completing a doctoral degree in Education.
García Blanco has taught at the University of Puerto Rico, the University of the Sacred Heart, and Interamerican University. In 2014, she served on the Board of Overseers of the University of Puerto Rico, and currently serves as a member of the Puerto Rico Governor’s Commission to Eradicate Poverty. She has authored several publications, including ‘‘A Community-Based Approach to Education Reform in Puerto Rico,’’ which appeared in Melendez’s Colonial Dilemma, Critical Perspectives on Contemporary Puerto Rico, and “Montessori Crossed the Street: A Story of Access and Social Justice,” published in Montessori Collaborative World Review in 2019.
Olivia C. Irlando, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics
Olivia C. Irlando is currently a teacher at The Paideia School in Atlanta, Georgia. Irlando grew up in the Farmworker’s Movement fighting for the rights of others alongside her grandfather, Cesar E. Chavez. She spent her afternoons, weekends, and summers as an adolescent in front of supermarkets and on picket lines in an effort to educate the public of the plight of farm workers. Irlando took those skills with her as she transitioned into the classroom as an elementary educator.
Irlando has spent 16 years teaching in public and independent schools in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York, and Atlanta. She received her undergraduate degree from Brown University and her Master’s in Education from Bank Street College of Education. She lives in Atlanta with her husband, Andres, and her daughters, Isabella and Sofia.
Leah Beth Katz-Hernandez, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanic
Currently driving impact in the tech industry, Leah Katz-Hernandez previously held the position of Senior Operations Coordinator, or West Wing Receptionist, for President Barack Obama. The first ever deaf person to hold the position, she was appointed to the West Wing after serving in First Lady Michelle Obama’s communications office. Throughout her career in the tech industry and in the public sector, Katz-Hernandez has consistently used her specialty knowledge to urge equal access for the deaf, disability, and Latinx-Hispanic communities.
Since departing the White House, Katz-Hernandez advised in various capacities for multiple organizations and institutions, including the American Association of People with Disabilities, the Ford Foundation, DDW-Discovering Deaf Worlds, Mitsubishi Electric America Foundation, and The Harkin Institute. She also served as a Special Advisor to the President at Gallaudet University, her alma-mater. Katz-Hernandez earned her Professional M.A. in Strategic Communication from American University and a B.A. in Government from Gallaudet University. In 2018, Katz-Hernandez contributed a chapter to the book WEST WINGERS: Stories from The Dream Chasers, Change Makers, and Hope Creators Inside the Obama White House, edited by Gautam Raghavan and published by Penguin Random House.
Regina Montoya, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics
Regina Montoya is the CEO and Chairperson of Regina T. Montoya, PLLC, located in Dallas, Texas. She is a Harvard-trained attorney who has been recognized as one of the top lawyers in the country and is a former award-winning television commentator. One of the first Latinas to earn partnership in a major corporate law firm in the United States, Montoya received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Texas Minority Counsel Program of the State Bar of Texas, the Latina Lawyer of the Year from the Hispanic National Bar Association, and the Margaret Brent Women Lawyers of Achievement Award from the Commission on Women in the Profession of the American Bar Association. Montoya served in the White House as an Assistant to President Bill Clinton and Director of the Office of Intergovernmental Affairs, and she was nominated by President Clinton to serve as a U.S. Representative to the 53rd Session of the General Assembly of the United Nations. Montoya also served as the General Counsel at Children’s Medical Center of Dallas.
Montoya is the President and board member of the Texas Hispanic Policy Foundation. Additionally, she is a member of the Boards of Directors of the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), Foreign Policy for America, Every Texan, National Development Council, Dallas Arboretum and Botanical Society, Inc., Dallas Education Foundation, and Executive Women of Dallas. Montoya is a National Co-Chair of the Women’s Leadership Forum of the Democratic National Committee, the Secretary of the Board of Emerge, and a Board member of the Latino Victory Fund. Montoya earned her B.A. from Wellesley College, where she is a Trustee Emerita, and her J.D. from Harvard Law School.
Enrique G. Murillo, Jr., Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics
Enrique G. Murillo, Jr. is a tenured professor at California State University, San Bernardino (CSUSB). He is a first-generation Chicano, born and raised in the greater east side of Los Angeles. He completed his Ph.D. in the Social Foundations of Education program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Murillo is the Founding Editor of the Journal of Latinos and Education and the Handbook of Latinos and Education and Founder of the National Latino Education Network. He currently serves as Executive Director and Founder of LEAD (Latino Education & Advocacy Days), an organization aiming to promote a broad-based awareness of the crisis in Latino education and to enhance the intellectual, cultural, and personal development of the community’s educators, administrators, leaders, and students.
Additionally, Murillo serves as the Faculty Director for CSUSB’s Doctor of Education in Educational Leadership Program, which focuses on the knowledge and skills needed by administrative leaders in California public elementary and secondary schools (preschool through 12th grade) and community colleges. Murillo also serves as the President of the Southern California Consortium of Hispanic-Serving Institutions, has authored and/or edited more than 180 publications and scholarly multi-media works, and has presented at more than 180 professional conferences. He has been recognized with more than 50 local, regional, state, national, international, and congressional commendations.
Pedro Antonio Noguera, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics
Pedro Noguera is one of the nation’s leading scholars on issues related to race, inequality, and education. Noguera is currently serving as the Emery Stoops and Joyce King Stoops Dean of the Rossier School of Education at the University of Southern California. Prior to this role, he was a Distinguished Professor of Education and holder of endowed chairs at UCLA, New York University, Harvard University, and the University of California, Berkeley.
Noguera is the author of 15 books. His most recent book, A Search for Common Ground: Conversations About the Tough Questions and Complex Issues Confronting K-12 Education in the United States Today with Rick Hess, was the winner of the American Association of Publishers Prose Award in 2021. Noguera is the son of Caribbean immigrants and is proud of his roots in Brooklyn, New York. He is the father of five, grandfather of five, and a lover of books, sports, gardening, travel, and cooking.
Amanda Renteria, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics
Amanda Renteria is the CEO of Code for America, an organization that helped launch the civic tech ecosystem in the United States. Code for America partners with governments and community-based organizations leveraging technology to create equitable government systems focused on programs that strengthen the social safety net, increase access to tax benefits, automate record clearance, and foster an active civic tech volunteer network across the country. In September 2021, the organization launched a mobile-first tax credit portal in English and Spanish in partnership with the White House and Department of Treasury. In addition to leading Code for America, Renteria is a paid contributor to the BBC and ABC News on policy and political matters in the United States.
Before joining Code for America, Renteria served as the Chief of Operations for the California Department of Justice, overseeing 1,000 public servants and an $850 million budget. Additionally, she served as Secretary Clinton’s National Political Director during the 2016 presidential campaign and as a Chief of Staff in the United States Senate where she worked for nearly a decade, becoming the first Latina Chief of Staff in the history of the U.S. Senate. Renteria grew up in a small, agricultural town in the Central Valley of California and is the proud daughter of former farmworkers and an immigrant father. She serves on several non-profit boards and holds degrees from Stanford University and Harvard Business School.
Maria Angela Reyes, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics
Maria Reyes is an engineer, educator, CEO, and published author. Over her 25-year tenure in higher education, Reyes developed a diverse portfolio of public-private partnerships. These innovative collaborations resulted in her securing upwards of $25M in grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department of Education, and the Department of Labor, all which centrally focused on promoting STEM education among K-12 and undergraduate students. Reyes earned a Master in Public Administration from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, as well as a Bachelor and Master of Science degree in Civil Engineering from Arizona State University.
Reyes has authored and served as a contributing writer for more than 20 academic publications with an emphasis on the social and cultural pedagogies of minoritized students in STEM, and previously served as a Co-Principal and Principal Investigator for grants within the NSF Directorate for Education and Human Resources. Specifically, two grants she focused on were the NSF INCLUDES Alliance: Accelerate Latinx Representation in STEM Education (ALRISE) and the Work-focused Experiential Learning to Increase STEM Student Retention and Graduation at Two-year Hispanic-Serving Institutions, which seek to serve students at 26 colleges across six states. Recently, Reyes returned to technical work serving as Program Manager for New Product Introduction, Google Cloud with a focus on fostering innovation and workforce development into Google’s vast hardware fleet. Reyes grew up in Arizona and currently resides in California. Her three children, Diego, Mateo, and Solana, have graduated from or are attending Arizona State University in engineering, business, and education, respectively.
Cristóbal Rodríguez, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics
Cristóbal Rodríguez is the Associate Dean of Equity, Inclusion and Community Engagement at the Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College of Arizona State University. His world view and research have been shaped by being born and raised in the Texas Borderlands of El Paso by hard-working immigrant parents from Mexico, studying in Germany as a U.S. Congress-German Bundestag scholar, and his Ph.D. studies in Education Policy and Planning with a portfolio in Mexican American Studies at The University of Texas at Austin. Rodríguez’ research highlights the need for systemic equity and culturally responsive leadership across the education system. Rodríguez was recognized with the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanic Faculty Honors in 2016 and was honored as the 2019 José A. Cárdenas School Finance Fellow with the Intercultural Development Research Association to collaborate on school finance, equity, and college readiness for Black and Latina/o/x students.
Prior to his current role since 2021, Rodríguez spent five years as an Assistant Professor at New Mexico State University, a Hispanic Serving Institution in Las Cruces, New Mexico, and seven years at Howard University, a Historically Black College/University in Washington, D.C., as an Associate Professor and as the Director of Graduate Studies of the School of Education.
Rodríguez was elected to a three-year term to the Executive Committee of University Council for Educational Administration in 2019 and was appointed in 2021 to the Board of Directors for the American Association for Hispanics in Higher Education.
Havidán Rodríguez, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics
Havidán Rodríguez was appointed by the State University of New York Board of Trustees as the 20th president of the University at Albany in 2017. He previously served as Founding Provost and Executive Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Texas Rio Grande Valley after serving as President, Ad Interim, and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs at the University of Texas – Pan American. Rodríguez held various leadership roles at the University of Delaware, including as Director of the Disaster Research Center (DRC), one of the leading social science disaster research centers in the world. He also held several administrative positions at the University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez. Rodríguez has earned numerous recognitions and awards throughout his career and has received funding for his research focusing on the social science aspects of disasters and projects providing hands-on research, training, and mentoring to undergraduate and graduate students. In addition to numerous publications in the areas of disasters and Latinos/as in the United States, he co-authored Severe Weather Warnings: An Interdisciplinary Approach (with Donner, Brotzge & Diaz, 2022); Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico: Disaster, Vulnerability & Resiliency (co-edited with Mora & Dávila, 2021); Handbook of Disaster Research (co-edited with Donner & Trainor, 2018); and Population, Migration, and Socioeconomic Outcomes among Island and Mainland Puerto Ricans: La Crisis Boricua (with Mora & Dávila, 2017).
Teresa Leyba Ruiz, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics
Teresa Leyba Ruiz is a proud first-generation college student raised in South Phoenix and has a strong understanding of the needs of a diverse student population. She has served students, faculty, staff, and her community as an educator for over 30 years with an eye on providing opportunities for students and reducing equity gaps in college attainment. Ruiz is the retired President of Glendale Community College in the Maricopa County Community College District in Arizona. Ruiz was a member of the mathematics faculty at South Mountain Community College (SMCC), serving as the Division Chair for Mathematics, Science & Engineering, and holding various leadership positions at SMCC.
She has ten years of progressively responsible administrative roles as a Dean of Academic Affairs, Associate Vice President of Academic & Student Affairs, Vice President of Student Affairs, and President. Ruiz serves on several community organizations including the Glendale Chamber of Commerce and the Western Maricopa Coalition, often called WESTMARC.
Renata Soto, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics
Renata Soto is the founder of Mosaic Changemakers, a social impact organization whose mission is to weave a better South by uplifting, growing, and connecting leaders of color who are on the front lines of the fight for social, economic, and racial justice. Originally from Costa Rica, Soto adopted the South as her home almost three decades ago. She began her social impact career in Atlanta, Georgia, and honed her social entrepreneurial spirit in Nashville, Tennessee, for the last 25 years. Before founding Mosaic Changemakers in 2020, Soto led Conexión Américas, the nonprofit organization she co-founded in 2002 to serve Middle Tennessee’s Latine communities. There, she spearheaded the creation of Casa Azafrán and Azafrán Park, two community development projects that are recognized as models for nonprofit innovation, collaboration, and placemaking. In 2014, President Barack Obama visited Casa Azafrán to host a nationally televised town hall on immigration policy.
After 17 years at the helm of Conexión Américas, Soto spent two years as a Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s Advanced Leadership Initiative. Nationally, she served for 10 years on the Board of Directors, and as Chair from 2015-2018, of UnidosUS, the largest Latino civil rights organization in the United States. Soto currently serves as Board Chair of its sister organization, UnidosUS Action Fund, which works to expand the influence and political power of the Latino community.
Juliana Urtubey, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics
Juliana Urtubey has used her platform as 2021 National Teacher of the Year to advocate for a “joyous and just” education for all students – one that is inclusive and celebratory of all students’ identities, families, and communities. A bilingual, first-generation immigrant, Urtubey has worked throughout her teaching career to serve as a mirror for her school community, helping students to be proud of their identities and families, and to acknowledge their strengths and contributions to the community. A longtime elementary school special education teacher in Arizona and Nevada, Urtubey enjoys learning from teachers and students alike. Her work centers Linguistically Gifted communities within a framework of possibility.
While teaching in Las Vegas, students gave her the nickname “Ms. Earth” for her efforts to beautify schools and unify the community through murals and gardens. Urtubey is a National Board Certified Teacher and holds a Bachelor’s in Bilingual Elementary Education and a Master’s in Special Bilingual Education from the University of Arizona. She is a National Board for Professional Teaching Standards Board of Directors member and Teacher Fellow. She is also a winner of the 2018 Rogers Foundation Heart of Education award. Urtubey lives in Phoenix, Arizona. She enjoys reading in Spanish and traveling, and has had the opportunity to teach in Ecuador, Mexico, Spain, and Puerto Rico. She also enjoys tending to her collection of house plants and spending time outdoors, and she aims to visit all the national parks.
Cid D. Wilson, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics
Cid D. Wilson is the President & CEO of the Hispanic Association on Corporate Responsibility (HACR), where he has led the nation’s largest nonprofit organization focused on advancing Hispanic inclusion in corporate America since 2014. He has over 30 years of corporate experience, starting in the mail room of a Wall Street investment firm and eventually rising to executive and corporate board rooms. In 2006, Forbes ranked him the #1 Equity Financial Analyst in his field. In 2009, President Barack Obama named him to the National Museum of the American Latino Study Commission.
A proud Dominican-American, Afro-Latino, and native of Bergen County, New Jersey, Wilson serves on the national boards of Junior Achievement USA and LatinoJustice PRLDEF. He is a graduate of The Ohio State University. In 2021, Ohio State inducted Wilson to the Office of Diversity & Inclusion (ODI) Hall of Fame, making him the first Latino ODI Hall of Famer in the University’s history. In the same year, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy appointed Wilson to the New Jersey Wealth Disparity Task Force.
Magda N. Yrizarry, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics
Magda Yrizarry has been a force for change for over three decades. As the Senior Vice President – Strategic DEI Initiatives and Supplier Diversity, Yrizarry ensures Verizon’s Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion strategies care for all four stakeholders — customers, shareholders, society, and employees. Yrizarry partners internally and externally to ensure equal access and opportunity for all. Previously, Yrizarry served as Verizon’s Chief Talent and Diversity Officer where responsibilities included the hiring, development, advancement, and retention of talent, from campus to executive, and supplier diversity. Yrizarry began her Verizon career in external affairs holding numerous local and national roles, including Executive Director for Public Policy and Strategic Alliances, managing national outreach efforts across diverse constituencies.
Yrizarry serves as Vice-chairperson of ASPIRA of New York, is on the board of Big Brothers Big Sisters NYC, and is an alumna Hall of Famer for the Hispanic Scholarship Fund. She has been recognized as one of the 50 Most Powerful Latinas in America by ALPFA, named to People en Español’s 25 Most Powerful Women, a Top Executive in Corporate Diversity by Black Enterprise, and a President’s Award recipient from the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Foundation. Yrizarry earned a Bachelor of Science and Master’s Degree from Cornell University and remains active in driving campus diversity and inclusion. She serves on the Governing Board of Stonecrest Community Church and Chair of its Racial Justice Task Force. Yrizarry shares three adult children with her husband, Ray. She is a native New Yorker and lives in New Jersey.
Andrea Zayas, Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics
Andrea Zayas has dedicated her 25 years in education to making progress on the challenges faced by school systems, working at every level — from the classroom to district administration — to improve outcomes and experiences for young people of color. She currently works in philanthropy, serving as Director of K-12 for a national family foundation, leading the education strategy for impact, as well as developing and executing its education grantmaking, policy, and systems change work. Previously, Zayas served in cabinet positions at Boston Public Schools, most recently as its Chief Academic Officer, where she initiated the shift to a Science of Reading approach; wrote and ensured passage of district-wide, college and career ready graduation standards; and oversaw the creation of culturally and linguistically relevant remote learning materials during COVID school closures.
Before her work in Boston, Zayas founded and led three education ventures: New Orleans Youth Alliance, Upstream Education Consulting, and La Cima Elementary Charter School in Brooklyn, New York. She also served in various leadership roles focused on student success, including National Director of Regional Leadership Development for Knowledge is Power Program (KIPP), Regional State Turnaround Superintendent in Camden, New Jersey, and Director for Charter School Accountability for the New York City Department of Education.
Zayas is pursuing a doctorate in urban education leadership at Xavier University of Louisiana. She earned her Master’s in Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education and her Bachelor’s degree at Rutgers University.