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Elisa’s passion for educational equity comes from personal experience. Elisa grew up in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas and developed a deep commitment to Teach For America’s mission as a student at DePauw University, where she was one of just a few Mexican American students. Her journey with Teach For America started 18 years ago in Phoenix, as a 1998 corps member. She joined the organization’s staff in 2001 to lead their work in her hometown as executive director of the Rio Grande Valley region. Four years later, she became chief operating officer, leading Teach For America’s field operations. During her eight years in this role, Elisa led Teach For America’s expansion from 22 regions to 48.
In 2013, Elisa was named co-CEO of Teach For America alongside Matthew Kramer. In 2015, Matthew Kramer stepped down, and Elisa became the sole CEO. Under her leadership, Teach For America currently impacts more than 750,000 students in over 2,600 schools.
Elisa holds a B.A. in sociology from DePauw University. She lives with her husband, Jeremy, and their four sons in Houston.