Lupita Cortez Alcalá has over 20 years of experience in advocacy, policy, project development, and executive and administrative leadership, in service of championing better educational outcomes for the children, youth, and adults. Lupita leads strategic planning and management projects in pre-K-12 and postsecondary education including developing master plans for state and local early learning and care and higher education learning systems (e.g., California Master Plan for Early and Learning and Care) that resulted in dramatic expansion of opportunity aimed at long-term outcomes to school and workforce readiness. Other recent work includes guiding the development and implementation of the California Children and Youth Behavioral Health Initiative, which involves building strong partnership and connection across health and education agencies. Lupita served as the first Latina Chief Deputy Superintendent for the California Department of Education. She has served in numerous leadership roles including as Executive Director of the California Student Aid Commission, becoming a prominent voice in the statewide discussion on college affordability and financial aid reform. Lupita holds a B.A. in Political Science from the UC, San Diego, and a Ed.M. from Harvard University, School of Education.