Andrea Zayas


A nationally-recognized leader in education policy and practice, Andrea Zayas has leveraged her experience as a public school teacher, leader, and mother to build bridges between families, educators, administrators, and policymakers – developing and implementing research-backed strategies that have been adopted around the country to maximize positive outcomes for Black and Brown youth.

In 2008 and 2018, respectively, Ms. Zayas founded La Cima Elementary Charter School in Brooklyn, New York and the New Orleans Youth Alliance, both award-winning institutions that center culturally responsive youth leadership as an integral tool in community sustainability.

Ms. Zayas has also served as Regional State Turnaround Superintendent in Camden, New Jersey, Director for Charter School Accountability for the New York City Department of Education, and Chief Academic Officer at Boston Public Schools. Currently, she develops and executes education grantmaking as the National Director of K-12 Education at the Ballmer Group.

Ms. Zayas is the founder of Upstream Education Consulting, a boutique firm of field leaders who support school systems and organizational leaders with advice, coaching, strategy development, and implementation. She currently serves on the Biden Administration’s Commission on Advancing Educational Equity, Excellence, and Economic Opportunity for Hispanics.

Ms. Zayas is a first-generation high school and college graduate and proud daughter of the African diaspora with indigenous Colombian and Afro-Boricua roots. She is a doctoral candidate in Urban Education Leadership at Xavier University of Louisiana. She earned her Masters in Education from Harvard Graduate School of Education and a Bachelors at Rutgers University.