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Trailblazing Latina Philanthropist Becomes President of Pharos Foundation

Updated: Aug 8, 2023

The Colibri Collective - Trailblazing Latina Philanthropist Becomes President of Pharos Foundation - Adriana Murrietta

PHOENIX, AZ (August 1, 2023) – After nearly two decades working as a tireless leader in improving education outcomes for Arizona students, philanthropist Adriana Murrietta begins her tenure as President of the Pharos Foundation this month. In her previous position as the executive director of the organization, she awarded more than $15 million to organizations in Arizona.

Adriana’s passion for making sure all students have access to a quality education stems from her personal experience: when she was a teenager, she was told that as an undocumented immigrant from Colombia, higher education was out of her reach. Adriana’s determination to obtain a higher education propelled her into a career improving the education experience for others.

“Adriana’s transition into the role of President comes as a natural choice for those who have worked with her and the Pharos Foundation,” said Todd Sanders, President and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Chamber. “With Adriana’s successful track record in pushing for equitable educational opportunities for students across the state of Arizona, as well as her national presence as a philanthropic leader in education, I have no doubt that she will continue to move the organization and Arizona forward.”

Throughout her career, Adriana has worked with nonprofit, government and education partners to fund innovative education strategies and identify key education leaders. In an innovative move to address Arizona’s teacher shortage, she was a key partner in the creation of the trailblazing PXU City and Phoenix Educator Preparatory: an early-college, early-service high school that provides students opportunities to concurrently earn high school credit, early college credit and early teaching experiences.

“We are proud to partner with the Pharos Foundation in our shared vision of a more educated and equitable Arizona. In her role as president, Adriana Murrietta will continue to be the leader that Pharos and our community needs and deserves at this critical moment in history,” said Paul Luna, President and CEO of Helios Education Foundation.

The experience Adriana has gained throughout her career will inform the way she leads the organization into a new chapter. “I am so pleased to continue Pharos’ pivotal work improving the education system, both in Arizona and nationally,” she said. “I am often in the position of being the only woman, the only person of color, and the only immigrant in rooms where decision making happens. I think my perspective as a Latina in this field is crucial to creating changes that benefit all students, especially those from groups experiencing disadvantages in education.”

About the Pharos Foundation

The Pharos Foundation understands that the strength of this country is predicated on the strength of our education system, and, when one segment of our population is underserved, all segments of our society suffer. It seeks to fund programs and implement systemic changes that will result in access to quality educational opportunities for all students, especially those from lower socio-economic backgrounds. The Pharos Foundation works to ensure all students receive a quality educational experience at an early age, and families have the freedom to choose from a variety of educational opportunities throughout their child’s academic career.


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