Dr. Elizabeth González, Ph.D. has been named chief program and strategy officer of the California-based College Futures Foundation (CFF). González’s career is highlighted by three different roughly five-year stints at youth-serving nonprofits. She joins CFF after working for nearly five years at the James Irvine Foundation, first hired as a senior program officer early 2014. She then served as its youth program director and, most recently, portfolio director. Prior to her time at the James Irvine Foundation, González was with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation for four years and eight months as a portfolio manager and program officer for education and postsecondary success.
González’s own college education began when she enrolled at Columbia University in 1988, earning her bachelor’s degree in sociology four years later. She then attended the University of California, Los Angeles for her graduate education, earning her doctorate degree in sociology by 2003. Her first job after the completion of her Ph.D. was with First 5 LA, a nonprofit child advocacy organization created in 1998 by the passage of California’s Proposition 10, which invested tobacco tax revenues in new programs and organizations to help the children of the state. González worked as senior program officer there until her June 2009 move to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.
A daughter of Mexican immigrants and first-generation college graduate, González’s career has always been focused on making her path possible for the millions of youth just like her in California and across the nation.
“At College Futures, we believe that nothing is more transformative for individuals, our economy, and our society than educational opportunity, and that the pathway to a college degree should be clear and open to the diverse students of California,” said Monica Lozano, President and CEO of the Foundation in a press release about the appointment. “Elizabeth shares that belief. She brings to this role a deep understanding of educational equity, economic mobility, and systems change in California. Her keen intelligence and deep passion are evident to all those who have worked with her. We are so glad to have her join our team.”
College Future Foundation’s appointment of Elizabeth González was announced Dec. 18. She will assume the responsibilities of her new role in the coming weeks.