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Audience in Lecture






Director, English Learner Program


Sobrato Philanthropies


Throughout his career, Robert Medina has sought to inform policy, change systems, and shift narratives so the students furthest from opportunity—especially our students of color, multilingual learners, and low-income students—can engage, learn, and thrive in schools and beyond. He is currently Director of the English Learner Program at Silicon Valley-based Sobrato Philanthropies where he partners with educators, students, advocates, researchers, and others to strengthen education policies and systems for multilingual learners in California schools.

Prior to joining Sobrato, Robert was a Senior Consultant at Education First, a national education strategy and policy consulting firm, and served as an advisor to foundations, school districts, state agencies, and nonprofits on a broad range of critical issues. From facilitating school district and community college leaders through a joint strategic planning process to supporting state policy coalitions in defining their bold advocacy goals, he has helped organizations create equity-centered strategies to tackle pressing challenges. Previously, as Senior Program Manager in The Aspen Institute’s Planning and Evaluation Program, he led evaluations of policy advocacy and awareness-building campaigns in the United States and internationally.

Robert was a 2022-23 fellow in Hispanics in Philanthropy’s Líderes Program and is on the Leadership Team of the Bay Area Early Childhood Funders, a collective of Bay Area-based public and private funders committed to improving grantmaking effectiveness in the early childhood education field. He earned an M.A. in Hispanic Languages and Literatures from the University of California, Berkeley and a B.A. in Economics and Hispanic Studies from the University of Pennsylvania. Born and raised in Lima, Peru, Robert immigrated to the United States with his family when he was in fifth grade and was classified as an English Learner by his school district. He lives with his partner, James, in Sacramento, California.

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