Vanessa Rodriguez is Chief of Talent and Leadership at Citizens of the World, a nonprofit whose mission is to impact and expand the conversation about what an excellent education contains, requires and accomplishes. Formerly, Vanessa was chief talent officer of Newark Public Schools (NPS). NPS has 69 schools, 7,000 employees and a student population of 37,443, and is the largest and one of the oldest school systems in New Jersey. Previously Rodriguez was the chief executive officer of District 79 - Alternative Schools and Programs for the New York City Department of Education. This district is a unique citywide network of programs serving over-aged, under-credited students. Rodriguez also served as chief of staff and chief operating officer of District 79.
Rodriguez was the national director of recruitment and admissions for New Leaders. She was also executive director of the New York City program. Prior to her work at New Leaders, Rodriguez worked in various capacities for Teach For America, including leadership roles in Houston and New York City. Rodriguez began her education career as a bilingual elementary school teacher in the Bronx and as the school chapter leader for the United Federation of Teachers.
Rodriguez has bachelor’s degrees in sociology and education from Boston College and received the 2012 John A. Dinneen S.J., Alumni Community Service Award. In 2010, Rodriguez completed the Broad Superintendent’s Academy