White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics
Marco Antonio Davis is the deputy director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics. Named to this position in January 2012, he helps carry out President Obama's efforts to improve the academic achievement of the nation's Hispanic students.
Prior to joining the initiative, from 2010 to 2012, Davis served as the director of public engagement for the Corporation for National and Community Service, leading President Obama's call to service initiative, United We Serve, the annual Martin Luther King Jr. National Day of Service, and the September 11 National Day of Service and Remembrance.
The son of a Jamaican father and a Mexican mother, Davis and his two older sisters grew up in Mount Vernon, N.Y. He attended public and private schools before enrolling at Yale University, where he earned his bachelor's degree in history and Latin American studies. Upon graduation in 1992, he returned to New York City, where he worked as a leadership development counselor at Prep for Prep. This innovative program identifies outstanding students of color from modest backgrounds, prepares them to attend private high schools throughout the Northeast, and supports them during their time in high school and, later, at prestigious colleges and universities.
In 1994, Davis moved to Washington, D.C., and took a job at the National Council of La Raza (NCLR), the nation's largest Latino civil rights and advocacy organization. During his nearly 13 years at NCLR, he was promoted to director of leadership development, and designed and established the Center for Emerging Latino Leadership. In this post, he created the annual Líderes Summit, a five-day conference and leadership program for more than 400 young people. He also developed the Líderes de Hoy national essay contest, awarding $70,000 in college scholarships each year; one-day regional Líderes Congresos; and the national Latino Education and Advocacy Day (LEAD), when 70 college campuses nationwide held events annually on the same day. During his time at NCLR, he also managed Encuentro 2000—And Beyond, an annual strategic retreat for distinguished national Latino opinion leaders.
In 2007, Ashoka's Youth Venture named Davis director of global fellowship and of the Mid-Atlantic region, and, a year later, regional manager for Latin America. An outgrowth of Ashoka, the world's community of leading social entrepreneurs, Youth Venture manages a global community of powerful young change makers by providing the inspiration, tools, and financial support for young people to have the transformative experience of launching and leading their own social ventures. For three-and-a-half years, Davis organized international youth summits, led the Mid-Atlantic regional office, and oversaw staff teams in Mexico, Brazil, and Argentina, which supported more than 900 youth venture teams throughout Latin America.
Davis and his wife and daughter live in Washington, D.C.