Before joining the Charles A. Dana Center, Elisha Smith Arrillaga previously served as the executive director of The Education Trust—West. Throughout her more than 20 years of research and advocacy, Arrillaga has worked for and partnered with many organizations, including the Careers Ladder Project, the Hewlett Foundation, Mathematica Policy Research, and College Bound. She has served on numerous committees, boards, and taskforces—among them Google’s Equitable Artificial Intelligence Research Roundtable, University of California’s Provost Advisory Council on Educational Equity, California State University’s Steering Committee on Academic Preparation and Quantitative Reasoning, University of California’s Test Feasibility Study Steering Committee, and the Launch Years Consensus Panel. Arrillaga was also appointed co-chair of the California Department of Education’s Closing the Achievement Gap Initiative. Arrillaga holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Smith College and an M.S. in Survey Methodology from the University of Maryland at College Park. She was the third Black person to graduate with a Ph.D. from the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs.