Ivonne Díaz-Claisse, Ph.D.

President & CEO, HISPA

Dr. Ivonne Díaz-Claisse is the founder, president and CEO of HISPA (Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement).  HISPA is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization that 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 its services to San Antonio, TX, in 2011, to New York, NY in 2013, and to Florida in 2015.  Under her guidance, HISPA has recruited 2,500 volunteers, conducted more than 1,000 HISPA Role Model Program sessions and 28 Youth Conferences, reaching over 13,000 students to date.


Díaz-Claisse leads by example as an active role model herself.  She’s shared her journey story nationwide with over 10,000 of students and over 70 companies, including AT&T, Educational Testing Service, Johnson & Johnson, Ogilvy, Novartis, Merck, Microsoft, UPS, Verizon and Viacom, among many others.  She’s has spoken at numerous universities—including the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT), Columbia, Princeton, and Rutgers Universities—and at national conferences such as College Board’s “Préparate” and the U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute.


Since 2005, Díaz-Claisse has consulted various public and private entities, currently advising nonprofit Educational Testing Service on programming to increase educational opportunities for Hispanics in higher education, fostering collaborative initiatives with other organizations, and providing best practices on diversity and inclusion for various companies and employee resource groups.


Her professional background includes a 10-year career at AT&T as an Operations Research Analyst supporting network capacity planning initiatives by providing expertise in data analysis, optimization and forecasting.  She also worked for seven years as an educational consultant for Camera Mundi, Inc., a Puerto Rico-based company specializing in teacher training and creative educational solutions.

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 includes Prospanica’s Brillante Award for Community Service Excellence (2018); Color Magazine’s All-Inclusive Awards’ Change Agent Award – Individual (2017); the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics’ “Bright Spot in Hispanic Education” (2015); 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; NJIT Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers Educator of the Year Award (2012); Verizon Hispanic Support Organization Community Service Award (2012); Save Latin America, Inc. Tres Próceres Award (2011); and New Jersey Hispanic Research and Information Center Distinguished Maria De Castro Blake Outstanding Community Service Award (2010).


She holds a BS in Mathematics from the University of Puerto Rico; a Masters in Engineering in Operations Research from Cornell University, a Masters in Mathematics from the University of Maryland and a Ph.D. in Mathematics from Arizona State University.  With this background and her professional experience, Díaz-Claisse is particularly passionate about growing the pipeline of Hispanic students going into the STEM fields.  She is fluent in English and Spanish and is a highly skilled lecturer and motivational speaker.