Long-time Hill Aide, Education Advocate, and Former Advisor to Secretary Hillary Clinton Named New President of LEE

Three Things to Know about LEE President Mildred Otero

Leadership for Educational Equity (LEE), a member-driven civic leadership development organization that mobilizes a nonpartisan network of equity-minded leaders, announced today that long-time education and child advocate, Mildred Otero has been named first-ever President of the organization.

Our work is more critical than ever,” said Michael Buman, LEE’s Executive Director. “Mildred’s leadership has led to transformative results for LEE members and their communities. I’m so excited for Mildred's leadership in this new role and for LEE to dramatically grow the number of equity-oriented civic leaders. On a personal note, I have been lucky to learn from and lead with Mildred for the last eight years and I look forward to working together for many years to come.

LEE partners with organizations, like the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI), that are committed to changing the face of civic leadership to better reflect the diversity and lived experiences of communities across America. CHCI President and CEO Marco A. Davis recognized Otero’s achievement as not only a personal milestone but a testament to her commitment to LEE’s important work.

I can think of no one better than Mildred to lead LEE as its next President. Mildred is an extraordinary leader, the very model that her fellow CHCI alumni aspire to become. She has been an incredible partner to CHCI, and an invaluable friend and colleague to me over the years, and we look forward to continuing to achieve tremendous impact alongside her in this new capacity,” said Marco A. Davis, CHCI President and CEO. “On behalf of CHCI, and our almost 5000 alumni, we are thrilled to see one of our own ascend to this prestigious role – it’s well-deserved.

Now more than ever, we must commit ourselves to investing in public service. We need leaders committed to driving civic leadership that achieves equitable policies nationally and who contribute to the vibrant, diverse fabric of America,” said LEE President Mildred Otero. “In such a polarized climate, it’s an honor to lead an organization that stands for developing leaders towards that goal across the political spectrum.

Here’s what you should know about Mildred and how she’ll continue to advance the organization’s mission:

1. Mildred has achieved bipartisan results for kids and communities. Whether through bipartisan legislation ensuring car safety for kids or updating an 18-year expired federal childcare law to update health and safety standards, Mildred reached across the aisle and ensured equitable policies focused on outcomes for kids and communities.

2. Mildred’s childhood in New York City public schools defines her equity-focused leadership. Mildred attended IS-293, a middle school featured on The New York Times and Serial Productions’ “Nice White Parents” podcast highlighting the deep inequities in the New York City public school; and she graduated from Erasmus Hall High School– the oldest school in the western hemisphere founded by Alexander Hamilton and Aaron Burr, with a decades-long struggle of chronic low performance and inequitable outcomes. These humble beginnings drive her understanding and commitment to equitable policies for children across America.

3. She’s been a proven national and local leader for over two decades. Mildred has served in multiple leadership roles including chief education counsel for the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pension, senior advisor to Secretary Hillary Rodham Clinton, senior program officer at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and deputy director at the Children Defense Fund before joining LEE as vice president of policy and advocacy. Each leadership role prepared her to lead LEE to this next phase of growth and impact.

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