Deborah Santiago

In 2004, when Deborah Santiago co-founded the Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit Excelencia in Education, the time for talking about Latinos in higher education was over. Launching Excelencia signaled an opportunity for Santiago and her team to accelerate a comprehensive plan for supporting Latino student success in higher education while engaging the rest of higher education. Santiago, who also serves as vice president for policy and research at Excelencia, has worked for more than 15 years to improve educational opportunities and access for all students. Santiago earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Mary Washington College and a master’s in urban affairs from Virginia Tech.