Maria Orozco is a Principal in Bridgespan’s New York Office. Since joining The Bridgespan Group in 2006 she has helped lead a variety of nonprofit and foundation strategy engagements, with a focus on education and youth development. Maria helps to lead Bridgespan’s Nonprofit Practice, supporting Bridgespan client work, tool development, and research efforts in a variety of areas. Past clients include a large international educational media nonprofit, a collaboration of funders coordinating community-wide investment in after-school programs, a turnaround school operator applying an intensive teacher training approach, a national college reform network, and a teacher-led advocacy organization. Maria has also helped lead new research on nonprofit mergers and collaborations and was published as a co-author of “Why Nonprofit Mergers Continue to Lag,” Stanford Social Innovation Review, Spring 2014. Recently, Maria was a lead contributor to Bridgespan’s new article, “Eight Steps for Managing through Tough Times,´ aimed at helping nonprofit organizations navigate challenges triggered by economic recession, the loss of a major funder’s support, or other disruptive forces.
Most recently, Maria served as the Executive Director of Data and Policy for Newark Public Schools, New Jersey’s largest public school district serving more than 35,000 students. In addition to her role as a member of the district’s leadership team, Maria was responsible for managing data systems, policies, and research to help the district use data more effectively. Prior to Bridgespan, Maria’s academic and professional work focused primarily on the nonprofit and education sectors. Maria has published recommendations for improving higher education in Colombia and has advised an innovative high school on ways to improve college guidance services for Latino students. From 2003 to 2004, she was a program associate for the Campaign for Fiscal Equity, a nonprofit which brought a school funding lawsuit to New York’s highest court.
Maria holds a master’s degree in public policy from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government with a concentration in human resources, labor, and education. Maria also holds a bachelor’s degree from Princeton University in art history and a certificate in Spanish languages and literature, and was a recipient of the Mellon Minority Undergraduate Fellowship.