Pedro Rivera, Pennsylvania Department of Education
Pedro A. Rivera was appointed as the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education by Gov. Tom Wolf and unanimously confirmed by the state Senate in 2015. Rivera also serves as the president of the board of directors for the Council of Chief State School Officers (CCSSO), a nonpartisan organization of public officials who head state departments of education. As president, he focuses on promoting equity in education and elevating the ways states can improve learning conditions to ensure all students have access to the supports they need to be successful.
Prior to his appointment to Gov. Wolf’s cabinet, he served as superintendent of the School District of Lancaster. He has also worked as a classroom teacher, assistant principal, principal and executive director for the School District of Philadelphia, and a staff member with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers. In September 2014, he was honored by the White House as a Champion of Change for his efforts to transform urban education with his holistic approach to student success.
As education secretary, he’s traveled the commonwealth meeting with educators, administrators and students, discussing their priorities and needs, and taking those insights back to Harrisburg. Under his leadership, the Pennsylvania Department of Education has engaged educators, parents, policymakers, business and industry leaders, higher education officials and advocates to inform the department’s work on issues like reforming graduation requirements and improving school accountability measures.
Rivera is a first-generation college graduate and earned a bachelor’s degree from The Pennsylvania State University and a master’s degree in education administration from Cheyney University.