Icela Pelayo is a program officer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation working on the foundation’s efforts on racial equity, community engagement, and leadership to support thriving children, working families and equitable communities. Previously, she served in various roles at the New Mexico Public Education Department, including deputy cabinet secretary for teaching and learning, where she led strategic efforts and coordinated policy, program, fiscal management across the Department in support of the state’s educators and students. Most recently, she was director of operations at the NMPED and served as director of bilingual multicultural education, where she led the development and implementation of comprehensive state policy that aligned technical assistance, reporting, and monitoring to support bilingual multicultural education and English Learner (EL) programs leading to a 15 percent increase in EL graduation rates. Dr. Pelayo earned her Ph.D. in K-12 urban education policy from the University of Southern California's Rossier School of Education.