Mikelle Willis
Chief People Officer

As Chief People Officer, Mikelle is responsible for driving the organization's vision and strategy for the talent function as Leading Educators grows into a thriving organization. Mikelle designs and executes the talent acquisition strategy to ensure strong and diverse candidate pools, builds the capacity of organization leaders, and contributes to a staff culture rooted in equity and inclusion by providing opportunities for personal and professional development.

Mikelle’s “Why”

Mikelle attended public schools in Los Angeles and has spent the majority of her career serving students and families. Her experiences gave her an empathetic understanding of what it means to be a student and a leader in educational reform. The work that she engages in is very personal; it is her goal that regardless of demographics, all students will have access to an education that will afford them an equal chance in life.

Mikelle’s Journey

Most recently, Mikelle served as Chief Strategy and Operating Officer at the Partnership for LA Schools. Previously, she spent over a decade leading with KIPP in several capacities including middle school principal, Director of New Site Expansion and Senior Director of Principal Development. She started her career in education as a Teach for America corps member in the Los Angeles region.

Mikelle holds a B.S. in Business Administration from California State University, Long Beach in Long Beach, CA; an M.A. in Education from National Louis University in Chicago, IL; and an MBA from Pepperdine University in Malibu, CA. She holds her Multiple Subject Teaching Credential from Chapman University in Manhattan Beach, CA.

In her free time, she enjoys hanging out with her two cat fur-babies, Jazz Man and Fleazy E.