Theresa Garcia, Evelyn and Walter Haas Jr. Fund

TITLE: Program Director, Education Equity

FOCUS AREAS: Education, access and equity in education  

CONTACT: (415) 856-1400; theresag@haasjr.org

PROFILE: Theresa Garcia joined the Haas Jr. Fund in November 2014 as its new program director for education equity. She previously worked as a consultant for two years and gained relevant experience with charter school petitions, education training organizations, business plans, and school/health intersections. Past experience also includes roles at the CA Technology Agency, the CA State Board of Education, Children Now, the Sacramento County Office of Education, and the Office of the Secretary of Education.

Garcia’s goal at the foundation is to close achievement gaps so that students can reach their full potential. “All children deserve a good education, and can succeed in life if they get it,” Garcia said. “They get just one chance at preschool and K-12. Our most important work is to ensure that all schools give children the opportunity to succeed.”

Garcia’s bio on the foundation website shares:

Theresa Garcia is Program Director for the Haas, Jr. Fund’s Education Equity program. She manages the Fund’s work with the San Francisco Unified School District and other partners to close achievement gaps so that children and young adults can get the education they need to reach their potential.

Over the past two decades, Theresa has been a leader in shaping education policy in California in a number of roles. She has served as Executive Director of the State Board of Education; Vice President for California Policy at Children Now, a national nonprofit policy and advocacy organization; and Assistant Secretary of Education under Governor Gray Davis. Prior to that she served as senior consultant to the California Assembly’s Committee on Education and to the California School Boards Association.

Theresa has worked on a wide range of critical education issues in the course of her career, from developing state standards to pre-school and after-school programs, technology education, and professional development for teachers and administrators. She earned her BA at U.C. Davis and her master’s in social services at Bryn Mawr College.