Dr. Elisha Smith Arrillaga serves as the executive director of The Education Trust–West, a research and advocacy organization focused on educational justice and supporting the high achievement of all California students, with a particular focus on underserved students of color, low-income students and English learners. Dr. Smith Arrillaga leads the organization’s work centering education as a key racial and economic justice issue and has extensive expertise in leading initiatives using multiple strategies for impacting state policy—leveraging direct action, research, media and policymaker engagement. She has more than twenty years’ experience working in and partnering with education and workforce policy, research and advocacy organizations, including the Career Ladders Project, First 5 LA, College Bound, the Hewlett Foundation, Mathematica Policy Research and high schools and community colleges across California. Dr. Smith Arrillaga holds a Ph.D. in Public Affairs from Princeton. She is the proud mother of a rising kindergartener.

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