Elisa’s passion for educational equity and excellence 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 in Phoenix as a 1998 corps member. She joined the organization’s staff in 2001 to lead our 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 impacts nearly 400,000 students each year in some 2,000 schools.
Elisa holds a B.A. in sociology from DePauw University. She sits on the boards of the Holdsworth Center, Leadership for Educational Equity and Leading Educators. She lives in Houston with her husband, Jeremy, and their four sons.