Chief Advocacy Officer and General Counsel
Ricardo Soto serves as the Chief Advocacy Officer and General Counsel at the California Charter School Association (CCSA or Association). In his role, Ricardo leads and supports Government Affairs, Local Advocacy and Legal Teams. The Government Affairs Team is responsible for advocacy strategy with the Governor’s Office, the California Legislature, the California Department of Education and other state educational agencies concerning charter school priorities and issues. His work with the Local Advocacy Teams is focused on supporting CCSA members directly with charter school authorizers throughout California, including school districts and county boards of education. He provides legal advice to the Association and advises it on legal strategies targeted to support statewide and regional advocacy efforts, facilities and special education advocacy, the membership, the charter school community, and the Association's initiatives and strategic objectives.
Prior to CCSA, Ricardo served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. Department of Education - Ofﬁce for Civil Rights (OCR) from October 2009 through August 2011. In his position, Mr. Soto provided senior leadership concerning enforcement, policy and operational activities at OCR. From 2005 to 2007, Ricardo served as Assistant Secretary and Legal Counsel in the Ofﬁce of the Secretary of Education for California, where he advised the Secretary of Education and Governor's Ofﬁce on legal and policy issues related to elementary, secondary and higher education. Ricardo started out his legal career at California Rural Legal Assistance in Oceanside and represented migrant farm workers in education and employment issues.