Arizona Community Foundation
Vince Yanez, who served as executive director for the Arizona State Board of Education since 2005, joined the Arizona Community Foundation staff as executive director for the Arizona Venture Fund for Quality Education, leading ACF’s education, scholarship and public policy initiatives.
Yanez has served with the State Board of Education since 1997, rising through the ranks and earning the respect of State Board members, legislators, two Arizona governors, and business and education leaders throughout Arizona. As executive director, he has been the chief advocate and policy advisor for issues impacting Arizona’s K-12 public education system. During his tenure, the Board raised high school graduation requirements to include more math and science and adopted new rigorous academic standards. Yanez oversaw the first state-level interventions in struggling schools and districts, policy development and implementation of the first school district receiverships, as well as the annual approval of $40 million to improve K-3 reading (Move On When Reading initiative).
Yanez is or has been a member of Governor Brewer’s P-20 Coordinating Council, the Arizona Ready Council Graduation Task Force, Arizona’s Race to the Top Panel, and the Expect More Arizona Advisory Council. He has previously served as both a panelist and a nominator for the Accio Education Fund’s education reform grants, a joint program of ACF and Helios Education Foundation. Yanez holds a bachelor’s degree in Government and Spanish from the University of Notre Dame, and a master’s degree in Social Work from Arizona State University.
In his new role as executive director, Yanez will serve as the strategic and tactical leader of the Community Foundation’s work in public education reform, leading education initiatives and grantmaking, raising awareness of the state of public education in Arizona, supervising continuing research, and convening representatives of organizations and agencies around education issues. He will serve as staff director for the Ellis Center for Educational Excellence, a supporting organization of ACF created by a bequest from the John Ellis Family in 2005, and will oversee the ACF college scholarship office and School Tuition Organization, which provides scholarships for low-income, disabled and displaced preK-12th grade students to attend tuition-bearing Arizona private schools.