Press Release


Nicolle Grayson

WASHINGTON – Today, Denise Forte, president and CEO of EdTrust, issued the following statement announcing the addition of new board members:

“We are pleased to announce the appointment of a new chair and three new members to EdTrust’s Board of Directors. These distinguished individuals have extensive experience in key issues central to EdTrust’s advocacy, including technology, assessments, and civil rights. Their deep commitment to advancing education equity will be an asset to EdTrust’s mission to advocate for policies and practices to dismantle the racial and economic barriers embedded in the American education system,” Forte said.

Lisa Gelobter, an EdTrust board member since 2019, and CEO and co-founder of tEQuitable, has been appointed chair. At tEQuitable, she has pioneered the use of technology to make workplaces more equitable by addressing issues of bias, harassment, and discrimination. Gelobter also worked at the White House, serving as the chief digital service officer for the U.S. Department of Education.

“Given the ongoing challenges confronting public schools, I’m honored to serve as chair for an organization that has long been at the forefront of education equity and justice. I admire EdTrust’s steadfast dedication to ensuring every student has access to the resources necessary for learning in a safe, inclusive environment, enabling them to reach their full academic potential and thrive.”

EdTrust’s three new Board members are:

Eric Rodriguez is the senior vice president overseeing the Office of Policy and Advocacy for Washington, D.C.-based UnidosUS, the nation’s largest Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization. Rodriguez has spent his career working to advance political, economic, and social equality for the Latino community. His background also includes work on workforce development, retirement savings, financial inclusion, and healthcare and education reforms. Before UnidosUS, Rodriguez was a Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Fellow and served in U.S. Rep. Nydia Velázquez’s (D-NY) office.

Malbert Smith III, Ph.D., CEO and co-founder of MetaMetrics, has led a movement to make education measurement and research actionable. His research projects for prestigious organizations, including the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the National Center for Education Statistics, have focused on issues such as summer reading loss, the effectiveness of the NAEP assessments, and English language learning. In the United States and globally, educators use the measurement frameworks that Smith helped pioneer to match student assessment results to instruction.

Tomeka Hart Wigginton, founder and Principal of the HarWigg Group consulting firm, has nearly three decades of experience in improving education outcomes and increasing social and economic mobility at the local, state, and national levels. Wigginton has served in multiple social and economic mobility roles, including managing director and special advisor to Blue Meridian Partners, and leading grantmaking on education policy and advocacy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. She has also served as the president and CEO of the Memphis Urban League, the Memphis school board president, and vice president for regional and national education organizations.

“EdTrust’s Board of Directors provides essential guidance, oversight, and support to the organization’s leadership and staff. “As we bring lessons learned from on-the-ground work and data analyses to build the case for policies that will help all students reach high levels of achievement, we are excited to have these trailblazers on our Board at such a critical time for education equity,” Forte concluded.



EdTrust is committed to advancing policies and practices to dismantle the racial and economic barriers embedded in the American education system. Through our research and advocacy, EdTrust improves equity in education from preschool through college, engages diverse communities dedicated to education equity and justice, and increases the political and public will to build an education system where students will thrive.