Alejandra Ceja was appointed the new executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics last week. Ceja, a former public policy fellow at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), will lead the administration's efforts to address disparities in education that impact the Latino community and provide policy solutions to President Obama and U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan.
"Alejandra is a trusted advisor and leader in the Hispanic community," Duncan said in a statement. "As director of this important initiative, Alejandra will continue her exceptional work of pursuing academic excellence and opportunities for Hispanics across the country."
Ceja came to Washington, D.C. in 1996, working on Capitol Hill with U.S. Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard and at the National Council of La Raza. She has also held positions at the White House Office of Management and Budget, where she helped develop the federal budget for the Department of Labor and the Corporation for National and Community Service, and at the House Education and Labor Committee as senior budget and appropriations advisor.
Just prior to her current position, she served as chief of staff for Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter.
"(Ceja's) appointment is a testament to CHCI's success in developing Latinos for leadership positions and illustrates how CHCI's educational programs are making an impact throughout the country," said Esther Aguilera, CHCI president and CEO.
Ceja is a member and former president of the CHCI Alumni Association.
"I look forward to advancing the mission and goals of the Initiative and to helping Hispanics achieve their potential academically, professionally, civically and globally," Ceja said. "I want to thank CHCI for supporting my professional development throughout the years and look forward to working together on advancing the Latino college completion agenda for our country."
Ceja is a native of Huntington Park, Calif., though her family's roots trace back to Michoacan, Mexico. She received her MPA in public administration at Baruch College, City University of New York, and her B.A. in political science at Mount St. Mary's College in California.
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