CINCINNATI, OH – StriveTogether welcomes a new board member who brings extensive experience and expertise in championing education policy and innovation. Roberto J. Rodríguez, president and CEO of Teach Plus, joins the board in January.
“StriveTogether has the simple belief that every child deserves every opportunity to succeed,” said Danae D. Davis, board chair and executive director of Milwaukee Succeeds, a member of StriveTogether’s Cradle to Career Network. “The board provides vital strategic guidance to the organization in reaching this goal and we are thrilled to have Roberto join us in getting better outcomes for over 13 million kids across the country.”
Rodríguez spearheads Teach Plus’ work to grow and strengthen the teacher leadership movement, by empowering excellent, experienced and diverse teachers to lead educational change that advances equity, opportunity and student success.
“At Teach Plus, we’re committed to connecting the voices of educators with those of community and policy leaders to change systems and advance opportunity for students,” said Rodríguez. “I have long admired the work of StriveTogether to shape collective impact and drive systemic change, and I look forward to contributing to the vision of helping every child succeed in school and in life, from cradle through career.”
Rodríguez served in senior roles in the U.S. Senate and in the White House. From 2009 to 2017, he developed and led President Obama’s education initiatives to build systemic change and improve opportunity and outcomes across the educational continuum. His efforts as deputy assistant to the president for education led to an increase of tens of thousands of additional children enrolled in early education; new partnerships to better personalize and redesign the high school experience to meet individual needs of students; creation of a new, national focus on excellence in science, technology, engineering and math education; and an expansion of the Pell Grant to boost participation in higher education. Under his leadership, support for higher academic standards, enhanced teacher development and advancement, and deeper investment in America’s schools ultimately led to the enactment by Congress of the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015.
“Roberto’s dedication to advancing equity and access to education aligns well with our mission,” StriveTogether President and CEO Jennifer Blatz said. “His insights and leadership will be valuable on our board as we challenge the status quo and take brave steps to ensure every child has every opportunity to succeed in school and in life.”
Prior to his service in the White House, Rodríguez spent eight years as principal education advisor to the late U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. In the U.S. Senate, Rodríguez led successful bipartisan efforts that resulted in the enactment of the No Child Left Behind Act of 2001, the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act of 2004, the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 and the Head Start Act of 2007. He began his professional career in Washington, D.C., at Unidos US, where he directed research and policy analysis of federal and state education issues.
Rodríguez holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and an Ed.M. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. He serves on the Board of Directors for the Alliance for Excellent Education, The Achievement Network and the Bainum Family Foundation. Rodríguez lives with his wife and two children in Washington, D.C.
StriveTogether partners with nearly 70 communities across the country, providing coaching, resources and rigorous approaches to create opportunities and close gaps in education, housing and more. Together, the StriveTogether Cradle to Career Network impacts the lives of more than 13 million youth — including nearly 9 million children of color — across 29 states and Washington, D.C.