Karen J. Ortiz, Ph.D.
Vice President, Early Grade Success Initiatives
As Vice President, Early Grade Success Initiatives, Dr. Ortiz’s work revolves around building and strengthening early childhood systems to promote language acquisition and emergent literacy for children birth through age eight. In this role, Dr. Ortiz works in conjunction with the Foundation's community investment team to identify partnership opportunities and implement the Foundation's strategic early childhood education investment goals in Arizona and Florida.
Dr. Ortiz brings more than 30 years of academic and professional experience in early childhood education. In addition to practical experience within school districts and classroom settings, she served as an early childhood policy advisor to Arizona’s Governor Janet Napolitano and was Director of the State Board on School Readiness. Dr. Ortiz has helped lead statewide and national initiatives impacting children, ages birth to age eight, and their families.
Dr. Ortiz is a graduate of Arizona State University and holds Doctoral and Master degrees in Curriculum and Instruction, Early Childhood Education. She also holds undergraduate degrees in business and nursing.