Roberto J. Rodríguez
Roberto J. Rodríguez is president and chief executive officer of Teach Plus. He spearheads the organization’s work to grow and strengthen the teacher leadership movement by developing and advancing teachers as leaders in education policy and practice, and by supporting their contribution to educational innovation and change in classrooms and schools.
Mr. Rodríguez has dedicated his career to advancing equity, access, and excellence in education. He is nationally recognized for his expertise in education policy and governance, and for his leadership in building multi-sector partnerships with schools, families, and communities to improve educational opportunities for all children. He is devoted to the principle that all students deserve a complete and competitive education that prepares them for college, a career, and lifelong success.
Mr. 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 STEM 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 the U.S. Congress of the bipartisan Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015.
Prior to his service in the White House, Mr. Rodríguez spent eight years as principal education advisor to the late U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy. In the Senate, Mr. 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. Mr. Rodríguez began his professional career in Washington, DC, at the National Council of La Raza, where he directed research and policy analysis of federal and state education issues.
Mr. Rodríguez holds a presidential appointment to the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board. His numerous distinguished awards include the National Champion for Children Award from First Focus, and the Head Start Windows of Opportunity Award from the National Head Start Association. Mr. Rodríguez holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and an EdM degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.