Patrick O’Donnell

Chief Executive Officer

Headshot of Patrick O'Donnell

Patrick O’Donnell is chief executive officer of Making Waves Education Foundation, a nonprofit organization in the San Francisco Bay Area that supports historically underserved and underrepresented students to reach their college, career, and life goals. Prior to joining Making Waves, Patrick worked for two years as a seventh-grade teacher at the American School Foundation of Guadalajara. He also spent nine years at Teach For America holding a variety of leadership roles including Executive Director of Teach For America – Indianapolis and Vice President of National Development. Patrick started his career as a Teach For America teacher in Los Angeles, teaching seventh and eighth grade at George Washington Carver Middle School. He earned his MBA and MA of Public Policy from Georgetown University, MA in Secondary Education from Loyola Marymount University, and BA in English from Boston College. Patrick was named a Pahara Fellow in 2024-25.

Email Patrick at

“I love being part of the Making Waves team. I have so much belief in students – their empathy, vision, creativity, and leadership. I also believe in our country’s infinite potential to tackle the systemic injustices of our education system and to create opportunities so all students can thrive. At Making Waves, I get to work with amazing people to partner with students and unlock breakthroughs that advance educational opportunity and economic mobility.”