Ivonne Díaz-Claisse, Ph.D. | President & CEO, HISPA

Dr. Ivonne Díaz-Claisse is the founder and CEO of Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement (HISPA). HISPA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that inspires Latino students to discover their potential and ignite their desire to embrace education and achieve success. To do so, HISPA mobilizes Latino professionals to serve as role models in educational programs in the communities where they live and work. Founded in New Jersey in 2008, HISPA expanded to Texas in 2011, New York in 2013, Florida in 2015, and Pennsylvania in 2019. Under her guidance, HISPA has created innovative educational programs, recruited 3,000 volunteers, and conducted 2,864 HISPA Role Model Program sessions positively impacting the educational journey of over 24,000 students to date.

Dr. Diaz-Claisse is passionate about the Latino educational pipeline and leads by example as a HISPA Role Model. She has shared her story nationwide with thousands of students and has served as a keynote speaker to over 70 companies. She has spoken at numerous universities including the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), Columbia, Princeton, and Rutgers and many national conferences such as the College Board’s “Préparate” Conference, the American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education Annual Conference, and the U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute National Conference.
Under her leadership, HISPA received the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring (2020) and the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics’ “Bright Spot in Hispanic Education” (2015).

Dr. Diaz-Claisse was elected to the President’s Council of Cornell Women in 2017 and inducted into Trenton YWCA’s Women’s Hall of Fame in 2014. Recognition of her leadership and devotion to supporting Latino youth have been recognized with various awards including Prospanica’s Brillante Award for Community Service Excellence (2018); Color Magazine’s All-Inclusive Awards’ Change Agent Award – Individual (2017); New Jersey Hispanic Leadership Association Education Award (2014); Princeton University Service Award for exemplary service and dedicated leadership (2013); Latino Institute 2013 award for supporting Latino students at all levels; and New Jersey Hispanic Research and Information Center Distinguished Maria De Castro Blake Outstanding Community Service Award (2010).

Dr. Díaz-Claisse holds other leadership positions including serving on the Board of Directors of the Horizon Foundation for New Jersey, and serving as a DEI consultant to various organizations. Her professional background includes a 10-year career at AT&T as an operations research analyst. She holds a bachelor’s in mathematics from the University of Puerto Rico; a master’s in engineering in operations research from Comell University, a master’s in mathematics from the University of Maryland, and a Ph.D. in mathematics from Arizona State University.