Elisa Villanueva Beard

Elisa Villanueva Beard

CEO

Teach for America

Elisa began her journey with Teach For America as a 1998 Phoenix corps member. She joined staff in 2001 to lead the organization’s 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 as the organization expanded to more than 300 communities, growing its network from 12,500 to more than 43,000 leaders in 2013 while improving student outcomes each year. In 2015, Elisa became chief executive officer of Teach For America. Today, under her leadership, Teach For America corps members reach hundreds of thousands of students each year in more than 1,500 schools across 37 states and the District of Columbia. The Teach For America network of some 67,000 leaders is working from every sector to ensure that all children have the access and opportunity to reach their full potential and achieve their dreams. Elisa holds a B.A. in sociology from DePauw University. She sits on the boards of the Holdsworth Center, City Fund, GoGuardian, and Leadership for Educational Equity, and on the advisory board for the AT&T Aspire Accelerator program. She serves as a JOURNEY to Lead Champion and a Founding Partner of Starts With Us. She is recognized as one of the Top 20 Voices in Social Impact by LinkedIn and one of the 50 Most Powerful Latinas by ALPFA (Association of Latino Professionals for America). Elisa lives in Houston with her husband, Jeremy, and their four sons.