AAHHE: American Association of Hispanics in Higher Education, inc.

Dr. Ivonne Díaz-Claisse

Ivonne Díaz-Claisse

Ivonne Díaz-Claisse is the founder, President and CEO of HISPA, Hispanics Inspiring Students’ Performance and Achievement. HISPA is a non-profit 501(c)3 that encourages students’ success by recruiting, supporting and coordinating Latino professionals’ participation in educational programs in the communities where they live and work. Under her leadership HISPA has recruited close to 1,500 volunteers, conducted 400 HISPA Role Model Program sessions and has hosted 13 Youth Conferences. In 2011, HISPA extended its programs to San Antonio, Texas, and in 2013 to New York City.

Díaz-Claisse is an active HISPA Role Model herself, leading by example and having shared her educational and career experiences with over 10,000 students nationwide. She has spoken at AT&T, Educational Testing Service, Johnson & Johnson, Ogilvy, Novartis, Merck, UPS, Verizon, Rackspace and Viacom. She has also spoken at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, Rutgers and Princeton universities, and at many national conferences including the College Board’s “Préparate: Educating Latinos for the Future of America,” and the U.S. Hispanic Leadership Institute Annual Conference.

Diaz-Claisse has also received numerous awards for her support of Latino youth. She has been recognized by the New Jersey Hispanic Research and Information Center with the 2010 Distinguished Maria De Castro Blake Outstanding Community Service Award, Save Latin America, Inc. 2011 Tres Próceres Award; the New Jersey Institute of Technology’ s Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers 2012 Educator of the Year Award; Verizon’s Hispanic Employee Resource Group’s 2012 Community Service Award; the Latino Institute 2013 award for her supporting Latino students at all levels; the Princeton University 2013 Service Award in recognition of exemplary service and dedicated leadership; the Trenton YWCA 2014 New Jersey Women’s Hall of Fame, and The New Jersey Hispanic Leadership Association 2014 Education Award. She has also been featured in various media including the Huffington Post, New Jersey Spotlight, Hispanic Outlook in Education, Latino Magazine, and Mundo Fox.

Since 2005, Díaz-Claisse has also been a consultant to various public and private entities. She is now a consultant to the non-profit Educational Testing Service, advising the company on programs that seek to increase educational opportunities for Hispanics, particularly in higher education, and helping to foster collaborative initiatives with selected organizations. She also provides best practices consulting on diversity and inclusion for various companies and employee resource groups.

Her professional background includes a 10-year career at AT&T as 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.

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.

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