Brian Rivas

Senior Director of Policy and Government Relations

Brian Rivas (he/him/his) has been working to improve educational opportunities for disadvantaged students in California for nearly twenty years. His career in education policy began in the University of California’s Office of State Governmental Relations in Sacramento, where he advocated on a range of issues, including admissions, academic preparation, transfer, and faculty hiring. In 2008, he joined the California School Boards Association as a legislative advocate. He led the Association’s work on teacher evaluation and dismissal and other assignments, including charter schools, collective bargaining, and school facilities. Brian graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, receiving a bachelor’s degree in political science and a master’s degree in public policy.

“Our work is very personal for me. I think about the challenges I overcame as a low-income student and the opportunities that changed my life. In some cases, those opportunities have been eliminated. I want to keep the doors of opportunity open for all students and eliminate the barriers that too often keep students of color from pursuing their dreams for a better life.”


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  • Sacramento, CA
School Funding
Educator Diversity
Legislative & Budget Advocacy
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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.