Superintendent-elect Tony Thurmond Names
Lupita Cortez Alcalá Chief Deputy Superintendent


Press Release

Sacramento, Calif. – Tuesday, November 20, 2018 – Superintendent of Public Instruction elect Tony Thurmond today announced Lupita Cortez Alcalá as his pick for Chief Deputy Superintendent. Cortez Alcalá is the Executive Director of the California Student Aid Commission, administering over $2 billion in financial aid, and is a prominent voice in the statewide discussion on college affordability and reform of financial aid.

“Lupita Cortez Alcalá’s deep and comprehensive grasp of California education policy make her the most qualified choice to serve as my Chief Deputy Superintendent,” said Superintendent-elect Thurmond. “I know that she will be a champion for every California student, working closely with me to improve public education at every level.”

Cortez Alcalá brings more than 12 years of experience with the California Department of Education and has worked closely with the State Board of Education. As Deputy Legislative Secretary for Governor Gray Davis, Cortez Alcalá advised on all K-12 and higher education matters.  She also served as the Chair of the California Commission on the Status
of Women and Girls (CCSWG) from October 2015 to August 2017. She continues to serve as a member of the CCSWG.

“I’m deeply honored to be selected to embark on this journey with our next Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond,” said Cortez Alcalá. “As a daughter of immigrants and someone who learned English in California public schools, I am committed to serving California’s 6 million students and strengthening our public education system for every student.”

Cortez Alcalá is a native of Tijuana, Mexico, and a former financial aid recipient, English Learner, and first in her family to attend college. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California, San Diego, and a master’s degree in planning
administration and social policy from the Harvard University School of Education.

Cortez Alcalá would be the first Latina ever to hold the position of Chief Deputy Superintendent of the California Department of Education.