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Dr. Cristina de Jesus

CCSA Board Chair
President and Chief Executive Officer, Green Dot Public Schools California

Cristina is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Green Dot Public Schools California, a non-profit network of public charter schools. Cristina joined Green Dot in 2002 as the founding principal of Ánimo Inglewood Charter High School, one of the highest performing public schools in the state.  Since then, she has helped build the foundation of Green Dot’s success with a role in nearly every initiative and undertaking to boost student achievement across the network.  

As CEO, she oversees and supports nineteen middle and high schools serving over 11,000 students across Los Angeles.  Three of these schools are California Distinguished Schools, and nine are recognized among the top 10% of schools across the country.  Under her leadership, Green Dot California has undertaken two turnaround school efforts in Los Angeles, making Green Dot one of the few charter organizations nationwide working to turn around outcomes for students in schools formerly run by districts.  Additionally, Cristina leads negotiations with two collective bargaining units representing Green Dot California’s teachers, counselors and classified staff, setting an example for how charter organizations can work collaboratively with labor.

Cristina has also been very active in advocacy efforts for charter schools in Los Angeles and across the state.  She was the co-founder and co-chair of the Los Angeles Advocacy Council, a group of charter leaders working in collaboration with the California Charter Schools Association to ensure policies and practices of districts in Los Angeles are implemented in the best interest of charter schools and students across the city.  She served as co-chair for three years.  She has also served on three different charter task force groups within California.  Most recently, she was appointed by Governor Newsom to serve on the charter task force that laid the foundation for the development of AB1505.  She has also served on the National Advisory Board for the National Association of Charter School Authorizers since 2016.

Before being named Green Dot California’s President and CEO, Cristina held various leadership roles at Green Dot, including Chief Operating Officer, Chief Academic Officer, and Vice President of Curriculum and Instruction. Prior to joining Green Dot, Cristina was an English and History teacher for seven years in the Santa Monica/Malibu School District and earned National Board Certification in Early Adolescent/English Language Arts. Cristina has completed various selective leadership programs, including the Broad Academy for public school superintendents, and the Pahara Institute whose mission is to identify, strengthen, and sustain diverse leaders in public education. Cristina has earned a Masters of Education from the University of California Los Angeles, a Masters of Education Administration from California State University Northridge, and a doctorate in Educational Leadership from the University of California Los Angeles.