From 2005 to 2007, Colón served as Senior Manager for Education Investment Strategies at Fight For Children (FFC), a Washington, DC-based, local non-proﬁt organization dedicated to preparing urban youth for post-secondary education and careers. Colón’s work to refocus the organization’s education investments across the traditional public, charter public, and private school sectors, and to build its relationships with local and national partners, has made FFC one of the most highly-regarded players in the Washington, DC education community.
Prior to working with FFC, Colón served as Vice President of the Center for Community Educational Excellence at the National Council of La Raza, the largest constituency-based Hispanic organization in the U.S. During his six-year tenure, Colón grew a ﬂedgling department into a national leader in community-based education reform and positioned NCLR as the #1 expert on Hispanic-serving pre-K through 12 education programs. Forging partnerships with diverse groups – including the Annie E. Casey, Bill & Melinda Gates, and Walton Family Foundations, and corporations like Verizon, Scholastic, and General Mills – Colón raised over $40 million dollars for community-based education programs and developed a network of 50 Hispanic-serving charter schools that serve more than 20,000 students nationwide.
Known as one of the education sector’s most outspoken diversity advocates, Colón has been instrumental in increasing recruitment and professional development opportunities for minority educators. While working for more than 15 years to improve special education services in the Bronx public school system, Colón oversaw district-wide professional development for more than 3,700 special education staff and was instrumental in recruiting bilingual staff capable of serving a growing number of English language learner (ELL) students.
From the classroom to the boardroom, Colón uses his extensive leadership experience to forge strategic partnerships and raise awareness for education reform among a broad audience of decision makers. Colón is a founding member of the National Alliance for Public Charter School Board, and sits on the Boards of various other schools and local and national education organizations.
Mr. Colón is frequently honored for his leadership and unwavering dedication. Most recently, he was recognized by the Hispanic Council for Reform and Educational Options (HCREO) and the Education Leaders Council for building bridges and helping organizations work together to increase educational outcomes.
In addition to his leadership roles at local and national education reform organizations, Mr. Colón has extensive school administration and teaching experience. He worked as Executive Director/Principal of both the Oakland Charter Academy and the Beacon School in Oakland, California, and Director of Special Education at Community School District 10 in New York City. Prior to that, Colón worked as a teacher and an administrator for numerous elementary, middle, and high schools in New York City.
Mr. Colón holds Masters degrees in educational administration and educational supervision from Fordham University and a Bachelor’s degree in sociology from St. Francis College in Brooklyn, New York. He is a New York native and currently lives in Columbia, Maryland with his wife, Kimberly, and twin daughters, Gabriella and Caitlin.