The Education Trust—West Welcomes Arun Ramanathan as their New Executive Director


OAKLAND, CA (October 27, 2009)

Friends and Colleagues:

After a long search and thorough interview process, The Education Trust—West is pleased to announce that Arun Ramanathan will be joining us as our new Executive Director starting on November 2.
Currently Arun is Chief Student Services Officer for the San Diego Unified School District, with responsibility for eight departments and a budget of $350 million. During his tenure, he has reorganized and streamlined both student services and special education services while producing significant gains in student achievement and closing the achievement gap between disabled and non-disabled students. Prior to this position, Arun served as Special Assistant to the Superintendent for three superintendents. He also served for two years as the Executive Director for Government Relations and advocated on behalf of San Diego Unified in Sacramento, San Diego, and Washington D.C.

Before coming to San Diego, Arun was the Research Director for the Office of the Independent Monitor in the Los Angeles Unified School District, where he oversaw the design and implementation of large-scale research studies, including work on the over-identification of African-American and Latino students in special education. He has worked as a general and special education teacher and paraprofessional and as a Volunteer in Service to America (VISTA) in rural Appalachia. He has published research on education policy and practice in several journals, including Teachers College Record and the Phi Delta Kappan. Arun received his B.A. from Dartmouth College, his M.Ed. from Boston College, and his Ed.D. from the Harvard Graduate School of Education.

Arun has impressed all of us with his sharp intellect, passion for the Ed Trust mission, deep understanding of schools and systems, strong education policy acumen, effective leadership and management experience, personal warmth, and downright fearlessness when it comes to fighting the tough fight on behalf of kids.

We are excited to begin the next phase of our journey as an organization with Arun at the helm. We hope you will join us in welcoming him to the Education Trust—West family.

Linda Murray
Acting Executive Director, The Education Trust—West


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Karla Fernandez

Communications Manager

Karla Fernandez (she/her/hers) joins Ed Trust–West as a Communications Manager with over 11 years of experience advancing social impact initiatives.

Karla started her career as a teacher at Chicago Public Schools and UIC College Prep. After teaching, Karla joined United Friends of the Children to support LA County’s youth in foster care as a college counselor. Through Leadership for Educational Equity, Karla also served as a Policy Advisor Fellow for the office of a Los Angeles Unified School Board Member. She solidified her interests in policy analysis and quantitative research during her time with the Price Center for Social Innovation, the Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles, and the USC Presidential Working Group on Sustainability. Before joining The Education Trust–West, Karla was the Associate Director for the Southeast Los Angeles (SELA) Collaborative, a network of nonprofits advocating for communities in SELA.

Karla holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the University of Chicago, a Master of Public Policy from the USC Price School of Public Policy, and a Graduate Certificate in Policy Advocacy from the USC Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism. Karla is based out of southern California and is passionate about using data analysis, communications, and digital strategies for policy advocacy and social justice efforts.