Elisha Smith Arrillaga

Director, Career Ladders Project

Elisha Smith Arrillaga, Ph.D. is a Director at the Career Ladders Project (CLP) where she leads several broad-based initiatives to align the work of school districts, county offices of education, employers, community colleges, and community-based organizations to develop pathways to college and career for California students. Previously, Dr. Smith Arrillaga served as a Fellow in the Effective Philanthropy Group of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, where she was responsible for overseeing grant portfolios that supported youth-serving organizations and leading strategy development for new initiatives focused on opportunity youth. She also has more than ten years of experience providing technical assistance to nonprofit organizations and government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Department of Education, District of Columbia Department of Human Services, and the California State Assembly. She has also volunteered and worked with several college access programs, and she has taught and consulted on strategic planning and evaluation as a Fellow at the Princeton University Community-Based Learning Initiative and the U.S. Office of Management and Budget. She holds a Ph.D. in public affairs from Princeton University, an M.S. in survey methodology from the University of Maryland at College Park, and a B.A. in mathematics from Smith College.