Chief Advocacy Officer and General Counsel
California Charter School Association
Ricardo Soto is Chief Advocacy Officer and General Counsel for the California Charter School Association (CCSA). He has been with CCSA since September 2011. Ricardo oversees the Government Affairs, Local Advocacy and Legal teams, coordinating state, local and legal advocacy efforts across California. In his role, Ricardo supervises the engagement of state and local elected officials to ensure state and local policies and decision-making support the goals of the California Charter Schools Act, and coordinates legal strategies to support CCSA statewide and regional advocacy efforts, the membership, the charter school community, and the CCSA's initiatives and strategic objectives. Ricardo also supervises the Facilities Advocacy and Special Education Advocacy teams, which provide support and advocacy in both areas for California charter schools. Prior to CCSA, Ricardo served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights (OCR) beginning in 2009. In this position, Ricardo provided senior leadership concerning enforcement, policy and operational activities at OCR. From 2005 to 2007, Ricardo served as assistant secretary and legal counsel in the Office of the Secretary of Education for California where he advised the Secretary of Education and Governor's Office on legal and policy issues related to elementary, secondary and higher education. He served as in-house counsel for the San Diego Unified School District. Ricardo started out his legal career at California Rural Legal Assistance in Oceanside as a Skadden Fellow, and represented migrant farm workers in education issues. Ricardo received his law degree from the University of Wisconsin Law School, and his undergraduate degree from Marquette University.