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Two Senior Obama Administration Advisors Join Alliance for Excellent Education’s Governing Board

WASHINGTON, DC—The Alliance for Excellent Education (All4Ed) today announced the appointment of two outstanding individuals—Roberto J. Rodríguez and Leslie Cornfeld—to its governing board. Rodríguez is president and chief executive officer of Teach Plus and served for eight years in the White House as deputy assistant to President Obama for education. Cornfeld served in the Obama administration as special advisor to Education Secretaries Arne Duncan and John King.

“Roberto and Leslie share All4Ed’s commitment to improving the educational outcomes—and lives—of high school students, especially those underperforming and those historically underserved,” said Daniel H. Leeds, chair of the All4Ed board. “Having advocated on behalf of these students at the highest levels, Roberto and Leslie bring unique perspectives and invaluable expertise that will greatly inform All4Ed as it works to prepare every student for success in high school and beyond.”

Rodríguez spearheads Teach Plus’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. Prior to serving President Obama, Rodríguez spent eight years as principal education advisor to the late U.S. Senator Edward M. Kennedy. Rodríguez is nationally recognized for his expertise in education policy and governance and has played a key role in the development of every major piece of education legislation over the last two decades, including the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, 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.

“I have long admired All4Ed’s leadership in advocating for the policies and practices in our schools that will ensure our students graduate ready to seize the future,” said Rodríguez. “I look forward to contributing to All4Ed in their mission to help every student succeed.”

Cornfeld has spent her twenty-five-year career advocating on behalf of the nation’s underserved populations through their schools, communities, and justice systems. As special advisor to U.S. Secretary of Education, Cornfeld oversaw public-private partnerships advancing education equity for the U.S. Department of Education and the White House. Prior to that, Cornfeld served for two terms as an advisor to former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg where she led the design and implementation of policy and systems-level change in the areas of child welfare and safety, education, and civic engagement, which the Washington Post praised as “an example of what’s possible.” Previously, Cornfeld led a series of high-profile public corruption, police abuse, and human trafficking cases as a federal civil rights prosecutor. Since her early work with the late U.S. Senator Daniel Moynihan, she has been nationally recognized for designing and leading high-profile, cross-sector efforts to tackle pressing social and community challenges.

A graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, Cornfeld said, “Education is the civil rights issue of our time. All students, including those in our high-need communities, must have an opportunity to attend schools that prepare them to graduate ready for postsecondary education, a career, and productive citizenship. I am proud to join the board of All4Ed because of its commitment to advancing these outcomes for all students.”

“At All4Ed, we believe education is the key that unlocks the American Dream for all students,” said Bob Wise, president of All4Ed and former governor of West Virginia. “Unfortunately, far too many students—many of them students of color or from low-income families—lack access to the great teachers and rigorous content that form the foundation of a great education. As champions for these and other historically underserved students, Roberto and Leslie are a tremendous addition to the All4Ed governing board.”

For more information on All4Ed’s leadership and governing board, visit

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The Alliance for Excellent Education is a Washington, DC–based national policy, practice, and advocacy organization dedicated to ensuring all students, particularly those underperforming and those historically underserved, graduate from high school ready for success in college, work, and