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Monica Martinez      

Education Advocate, Author & Strategist; Speaker on Innovation, Teaching, Learning, and Education Policy

Monica Martinez is a first-generation Mexican-American college student who has devoted her entire career to promoting fair and equal access and success to higher education for all students. Her educational and professional journey, combined with research, has led her to advocate for structural and programmatic changes in K-12 and higher education that can help more students, particularly Latinx students, obtain a bachelor's degree.

Martinez currently leads the strategy and partnerships for the Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr. Fund, where she works to achieve the fund's goal of reducing the barriers to a college degree in California and leveling the playing field in higher education. She collaborates with nonprofits, policymakers, other funders, and K12 and higher education institutions to develop programs and initiatives that can help achieve this goal. Her previous roles include leading the Reimagine College Access initiative for Linda Darling Hammond at the Learning Policy Institute to bridge college admissions with innovative high school assessment systems. She also served as the Chief Program Officer for the XQ Institute, part of the Emerson Collective led by Laurene Powell Jobs, committed to helping transform high schools. She was a Senior Fellow for the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, where she wrote a book titled "Deeper Learning: How Eight Innovative Public Schools Are Transforming Education in the Twenty-First Century," highlighting eight innovative schools. She is a national expert in high school redesign, college access, and success.

She has been appointed by two governors to the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing and was named to the White House Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics by President Barack Obama. As an education strategist, she has served in an advisory capacity to multiple organizations, including nonprofits, state systems, and foundations, to assist in creating, revising, or implementing their education strategies and initiatives. In 2016, she was named a Distinguished Alumni of New York University.

Speech Topics

  • Education
  • Deeper learning
  • College Access and Success for Latinx
  • Education innovation and reform
  • College readiness
  • The future of learning
  • A New Vision for Teaching
  • Planning for Deeper Learning
  • Redesigning schools for the Whole Child
  • Reimagining high school for today and tomorrow
  • Transforming Your School Using Deeper Learning Practices


Monica Rae Martinez, Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award
Dr. Monica Martinez, as an education strategist, author, Senior Fellow to the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and appointee to the White House Commission of Educational Excellence for Hispanics, you are a true advocate for education reform.

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