Chief Program Officer
Aiyana Mourtos is the Chief Program Officer at Making Waves Foundation. In this role, she is focused on program design that facilitates a partnership with Wave-Makers on their path to college and career and strengthening outcomes through continuous improvement and innovation.
Always a learner and a teacher at heart, Aiyana has dedicated her career to advancing educational excellence and equity. One of her proudest moments remains instilling in students a love of reading as an elementary teacher in Newark Public Schools. Beyond the classroom, Aiyana has seen firsthand the value and limitations of theories applied in practice and works to harness the powerful intersection between people, systems, and unique local context. She brings system-level experience from working in the Oakland Unified School District and District of Columbia Public Schools, most recently as Chief of Staff to the Chancellor. During her time in DC, Aiyana played a pivotal role in managing the district’s COVID-19 response, leading the district to become the first jurisdiction in the region to safely reopen all 117 schools; revamping graduation policies and support systems, including personalized graduation and post-secondary planning for students and a graduation monitoring framework for educators; and designing strategy management structures to support cross-functional collaboration, resource alignment, and continuous improvement. She is an alumna of Teach For America and the Center for Public Research and Leadership program at Columbia Law School; and holds an M.A. in Education and Social Policy from New York University and a B.A. in Sociology from Johns Hopkins University. Driven by a passion for realizing the American Dream for all children, Aiyana believes it is a true privilege to work on behalf of brilliant Wave-Makers every day.