Shakira to Advise Obama on Educational Issues
Shakira will now be advising President Obama on educational matters.
President Obama has appointed the Colombian-born pop star to his Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics.
In naming Shakira, the White House cited her record founding a group, the Barefoot Foundation, which operates schools in Latin America and South Africa, as well as her work with the World Bank on educational programs.
Shakira also contributed a guest blog on the White House website. In her post, she talked about the importance of helping young Latinos succeed in school.
“I hope that through my appointment to this commission, I will be able to share what I’ve learned through the 15 years I have been involved in the education of Latino children. As we all know, race and ethnicity shouldn’t be factors in the success of any child,” she wrote.
The Colombian-born diva, though not an American citizen, was an obvious choice for the commission, says its Executive Director Juan Sepúlveda in an interview with U.S. News & World Report. “She’s a global education advocate,” he says. “Her scale and her reach–her experience in the area, but also the networks of people that want to be connected to her and to the president is going to be a good way to bring people in and say, ‘This is an important issue. What are you going to do?’”
Three other people were appointed to the commission: Nancy Navarro, Adrián A. Pedroza and Kent. B Scribner. The offical White House announcement is below:
The White House
Office of the Press Secretary
President Obama Announces More Key Administration Posts
WASHINGTON – Today, President Barack Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:
- Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll – Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics
- Nancy Navarro – Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics
- Adrián A. Pedroza – Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics
- Kent P. Scribner – Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics
President Obama said, “I am grateful that these impressive individuals have chosen to dedicate their talents to serving the American people at this important time for our country. I look forward to working with them in the months and years ahead.”
President Obama announced his intent to appoint the following individuals to key Administration posts:
Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics
Shakira Isabel Mebarak Ripoll is a Grammy Award-winning singer, songwriter, record producer, and dancer. In addition to her career in music, Ms. Mebarak Ripoll has been involved in a number of global educational efforts. She founded the Barefoot Foundation in 1995, which operates schools and educational projects in Colombia, South Africa, and Haiti, feeding and educating approximately 6,000 children. In 2010, she collaborated with the World Bank and the Barefoot Foundation to establish an initiative that distributes educational and developmental programs for children across Latin America. In 2008, Ms. Mebarak Ripoll served as the Honorary Chair of the Global Campaign for Education’s Global Action Week. In 2005, she became a founding member of Latin America in Solidarity Action, a coalition of artists and business leaders seeking to promote integrated early childhood public policies. Ms. Mebarak Ripoll became a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund in 2003, where she promotes the expansion and improvement of comprehensive early childhood care and education across the world.
Nancy Navarro, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics
Nancy Navarro has served as a Councilmember for the County Council of Montgomery County, Maryland since 2009, where she is Chair of the Government Operations and Fiscal Policy Committee and sits on the Health and Human Services Committee. Previously, Ms. Navarro served on the Montgomery County Board of Education from 2004 to 2009, where she was Chair of the Board’s Communications and Public Engagement Committee, a member of the Strategic Planning Committee, and President from 2006 to 2009. Before entering public office, Ms. Navarro co-founded a community-based non-profit that promoted the economic and educational development of Latinos and other immigrant communities. She is the recipient of the Community Teachers Institute’s 2009 Heart of the Community Award and the Maryland State Department of Education’s 2001 Women Who Dare Leadership Award, among other recognitions. Ms. Navarro holds a B.A. from the University of Missouri.
Adrián A. Pedroza, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics
Adrián A. Pedroza is the Executive Director of the Partnership for Community Action, a grassroots, community-based organization that works to build community leadership around issues of immigration, education reform, and public health. Previously, Mr. Pedroza led the University of New Mexico High School Equivalency and College Assistance Migrant Programs, which provide educational opportunities to migrant and seasonal farmworkers and their families. In addition, Mr. Pedroza worked for U.S. Senator Jeff Bingaman as a Constituent Services Representative in New Mexico. Under Governor Bill Richardson, Mr. Pedroza was appointed to the inaugural Hispanic Education Advisory Council. He is currently a founding and executive member of the New Mexico Learning Alliance and served as a founding member of the Latino/Hispano Education Improvement Task Force. Mr. Pedroza sits on the board of the New Mexico Civic Engagement Partnership. He holds a B.A. and an M.B.A. from the University of New Mexico.
Dr. Kent P. Scribner, Appointee for Member, President’s Advisory Commission on Educational Excellence for Hispanics
Dr. Kent P. Scribner is the Superintendent of Union High School District #210 in Phoenix, Arizona, a position he has held since 2008. As Superintendent, Dr. Scribner oversees a school district that serves approximately 25,000 students in grades 9 to 12. From 2003 to 2008, Dr. Scribner served as Superintendent of Isaac School District #5 in Phoenix, Arizona. Immediately prior to that, he served as Executive Director of the Department of Human Resources at School District #3 in Tempe, Arizona. In 2008, Dr. Scribner received the Excellence in Educational Leadership Award from the University Council of Educational Administration. In 2005, he was appointed by then-Governor Janet Napolitano to the Arizona School District Redistricting Commission. Dr. Scribner serves on several boards and commissions, including the Valley of the Sun United Way and the Arizona Business and Education Coalition. Dr. Scribner holds a B.A. from Carleton College, a M.Ed. from Temple University, and a Ph.D. from Arizona State University.
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