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Elisa Villanueva Beard

Job Title
Chief Executive Officer
Company
University
DePauw University
Corps Year: 
1998
Corps Region: 
Phoenix
Alumni Region: 
Houston

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.

Posts by Elisa Villanueva Beard

Inside TFA
By Elisa Villanueva Beard
September 13, 2017
Today we welcome our 2017 Corps to our community of 56,000 people.
One Day
By Elisa Villanueva Beard
June 5, 2017
When we talk about innovation, we’re not arguing breakthroughs versus incrementalism. Advancing educational opportunity for all will come from both.
Inside TFA
By Elisa Villanueva Beard
May 1, 2017
CEO Elisa Villanueva Beard outlines the progress of our recruiting efforts and her thoughts on a new external study about Teach For America’s impact.
Inside TFA
By The TFA Editorial Team and Elisa Villanueva Beard
April 11, 2017
After her recent visit to TFA–Appalachia, our CEO Elisa Villanueva Beard shared with Autumn Halberstadt (Appalachia '16) why she's hopeful for the future of rural regions.