Chief Program and Innovation Officer
Latinos for Education
Karen Maldonado serves as chief program and innovation officer for Latinos for Education, the first Latino-founded and led national organization dedicated to creating pathways for Latinos in education. As chief program and innovation officer, Karen directs and guides the overall vision, strategy, design, and evolution of all program areas nationally—and provides leadership around K-16 partnerships, fundraising, budget-setting, and organizational strategy.
Prior to serving as chief program and innovation officer, Karen was the director of education reform for the Financial Oversight and Management Board of Puerto Rico. Her role was to ensure the Puerto Rico Department of Education worked to implement system-wide best practices across every public school on the island. Karen's work provided a transformation roadmap for better K-12 student outcomes, greater workforce participation and productivity. In April 2022, Karen launched the inaugural cohort of the Puerto Rico Education Leadership Development Program —a collaborative learning opportunity, to support the improvement of the Puerto Rico Department of Education’s ability to develop action needed reform, particularly at the mid-career level.
Karen also served as an executive director for the New York City Department of Education; her most memorable experience was serving as founding principal of the first bilingual secondary school (English/Spanish for grades sixth-twelfth) in the Bronx, NY. Karen is a graduate of the inaugural cohort of Harvard’s Doctor of Education Leadership program, Fordham University (Master of Science), City of New York at Hunter College (Master of Arts) and the State University of New York at Binghamton University (Bachelor of Arts). She currently lives in San Juan, Puerto Rico.