Mesa Directiva

Juan Sepulveda, Chair

Senior Vice President, Systems Leadership, PBS

Juan Sepulveda is currently Senior Vice President, Systems Leadership at PBS and leads a team focused on strengthening local PBS stations nationwide by activating the PBS network across the country. Prior to joining PBS, Sepulveda served as the Senior Advisor for Hispanic Affairs at the Democratic National Committee (DNC). He led the DNC portion of the Latino Obama 2012 team that helped re-elect President Obama with a record-level of Hispanic support (75%).

In the Obama Administration, Sepulveda led the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, an office focused on increasing Latino education attainment levels across the education system from cradle to career and beyond, having been appointed on May 19, 2009 to the position of Executive Director. Before joining the Obama Administration, Sepulveda had been a senior executive, strategist, and advocate in the nonprofit and philanthropic communities, with a focus in community development, capacity building, and transformational management for more than 20 years.

Having grown up in a working class Mexican-American neighborhood in Topeka, Kansas, Sepulveda has been involved in community organizing and politics since the age of 16, when he was the first high school student hired to work for the Kansas Secretary of State. Sepulveda received a bachelor's degree in government from Harvard University. The third Latino ever to be awarded a Rhodes Scholarship, he graduated with a combined degree in politics, philosophy, and economics from the Queens College of Oxford University. He received a juris doctor from Stanford Law School and has been admitted to the Texas Bar. Sepulveda has served as a board member of Stand for Children since 2017.

Lisette Nieves, Secretary

Director of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and a Full Clinical Professor at NYU Steinhardt

Lisette Nieves is currently the Director of Educational Leadership and Policy Studies and a Full Clinical Professor at NYU Steinhardt where she teaches education policy and leads the effort to design a new doctoral program in Educational Leadership and Innovation. She holds a bachelor of arts from Brooklyn College, a bachelor and master of arts from the University of Oxford, a master of public administration from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton University, and a doctorate with distinction in Higher Education Management at the University of Pennsylvania. She is a Truman Scholar, Rhodes Scholar and an Aspen Pahara Fellow.

For over 25 years, Nieves has served in a variety of cross sector leadership positions. She is an experienced social entrepreneur, public sector leader and scholar. Nieves founded Lingo Ventures which is focused on growth, talent recruitment/retention, and change management. Nieves served as the Belle Zeller Distinguished Visiting Professor in Public Policy at the City University of New York at Brooklyn College. Nieves has also held senior leadership positions in municipal and federal government. She most recently served as an Obama appointee on the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, where she co-chaired the higher education subcommittee and supported the production of two reports and convenings.

Nieves also served as the founding Executive Director of Year Up NY, an innovative workforce development program, where in the span of five years she grew the organization from a $250,000 seed grant to a $6 million operation with over 20 corporate partnerships. Her interest in workforce and education led to her dissertation on the relationship between student work and school roles, for which she received the 2016 Dissertation of the Year Award by the (NCSD – AACC). Her board affiliations include serving as the Board Chair at Guttman Community College Foundation and the Fund for the City of New York. She also sits on the board of Stand for Children, Edwin Gould Foundation, Ed Trust and the NewSchools Venture Fund. Her areas of interest include community colleges, college pathways, workforce and education partnerships.


President and Founder of Iconico Campaigns

Luis Avila is the President and Founder of Iconico Campaigns, a consulting company that helps build advocacy capacity with campaigns and organizations. A long-time community organizer and activist, he’s collaborated with communities and leaders to advocate for the DREAM Act, fight against SB1070 and challenge Sheriff Joe Arpaio's discriminatory practices in Arizona. Luis has led multiple national campaigns to advance the rights of immigrants in the US, spearheading Somos América in 2011, the largest immigrant-rights coalition in Arizona. He has served as Vice-Chair for UnidosUS, the largest Latinx civil rights organization in the United States, and is currently the Board Chair at The New Teacher Project. He’s a NextGen Google Fellow and an advisor to several national civic engagement organizations in the US. In 2018, he founded Instituto, an accelerator and incubator focused on building political power with low-income and communities of color in Arizona.

Eliza Leighton

Independent Consultant

Eliza Leighton is the co-founder of Stand for Children. In 2001, after five years of leadership with Stand, Leighton left Stand to attend Yale Law School. Upon graduation, she went to work for a legal services organization for Latino immigrants in Prince George's County, Maryland. Leighton now serves as an independent consultant.

Looking for information on the Stand for Children Leadership Center Board? Click here.

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