Alejandra Ceja was appointed by the White House on May 6, 2013, to serve the president and secretary of education as the executive director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. As America’s largest and fastest-growing minority group, Latinos represent more than 11 million students in U.S. public schools, constituting more than 22 percent of all pre-K–12 students. Ceja will work closely with the Latino community and the President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics to implement the goals and deliverables under Executive Order 13555, by which President Barack Obama renewed the initiative, and better align the work of the initiative with the Department’s cradle-to-career agenda.

For the three-and-one-half years prior to assuming this position, Ceja served as the chief of staff to Under Secretary of Education Martha Kanter. In that role, Ceja was instrumental in managing the under secretary’s personnel, budget and associated operations, including the operations of six White House initiatives, to support the president’s 2020 goal, what Secretary of Education Duncan calls the nation’s “North Star”: The United States will attain the highest proportion of college graduates in the world by 2020.


On Friday, October 3, 2014, hundreds of innovative and socially-minded Latinas met at Google’s Silicon Valley Office for the third stop on the LATINAS THINK BIG™  national tour.

Sponsored by Google and broadcast to virtual viewers via Google+ Hangout On Air, LATINAS THINK BIG™ Innovation Summit featured presentations by six talented Latina innovators: Judy Tomlinson, Lisa Morales-Hellebo, Oli Bichell, Mahrinah von Schlegel, Rebeca Yanes, and Zoraida Velasco.