Elizabeth González was appointed Portfolio Director at The James Irvine Foundation in February 2016 as part of its evolving focus. Prior to that shift, she was Program Director for the Foundation’s Youth program, which she led since January 2015 and served as Senior Program Officer in 2014.
As Portfolio Director, Elizabeth leads the Foundation’s grantmaking initiatives in the areas of college and career readiness, postsecondary completion, along with emerging efforts to improve career readiness and living-wage work for families and young adults who are working and in poverty. She oversees Linked Learning, the Foundation’s signature effort to transform high schools by integrating academic and career-technical education, and is now expanding across the state. More recently, Elizabeth launched Bridging the Gap, a regional partnership effort to improve student transitions from high school to postsecondary.
Prior to joining the Foundation, Elizabeth was a Program Officer with the Postsecondary Success strategy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation where she developed and managed investments in building community partnerships for college completion, including the alignment of K-12 and higher education policy and the development of new models for certificate-based education. Elizabeth has served as a Senior Program Officer at First 5 Los Angeles where she developed and managed investments in community capacity building and early learning, and led the organization’s strategic planning. A researcher by training, Elizabeth has worked as an analyst with the University of California, Los Angeles Center for The Study of Urban Poverty and Los Angeles County’s Urban Research Division where she focused on poverty and social welfare policy with an emphasis on the labor market inequality. She earned a Ph.D. and M.A. in sociology at UCLA and her undergraduate degree in sociology at Columbia University.
For many of California's working adults, the path to a good job — a job with room for growth, stability, and a family-sustaining wage — seems out of reach. Meanwhile, employers are having a hard time filling open positions that require specific skills.Read the Story
We believe that expanding economic and political opportunity — the goals we have set for our work — are all the more critical for California’s future success. That’s why we’ve been working hard to turn our evolving focus into grantmaking strategies.Read the Story
The evaluation conducted by SRI International shows that Linked Learning makes a difference for high school students. High-quality, certified pathways are leading to more credits earned, decreased dropout rates, and higher graduation rates.Read the Story