President and CEO, Edwin Gould Foundation
Cynthia Rivera Weissblum is devoted to America’s educational crisis — the tremendous number of young people from low-income families that are not obtaining the post-secondary education they need to thrive in America. Cynthia has, over her career, been both an advocate and entrepreneur building organizations that advance the educational attainment of youth from under resourced communities.
As CEO of the Edwin Gould Foundation, she leads the Foundation’s initiatives — a unique combination of supports that includes the Foundation’s Accelerator Program, New York’s premier residential incubator for education-related nonprofits, grantmaking and advocacy focused on educational inequity in America. Prior to her work at the Foundation, Cynthia was President of Results Collaborative Group, where she advised emerging foundations on their strategy. She was also CEO of Sponsors for Educational Opportunity (SEO) and Executive Director of the New York State Mentoring Program. In her early career she honed her skills in student development at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, the University at Albany and Rutgers University.
Cynthia earned a B.A., M.S. and Certificate of Advanced Study in Counseling Psychology and Student Development from the University at Albany. She serves on the board of Guttman Community College, Hispanics in Philanthropy, Rockefeller Institute of Government, uAspire and on the advisory boards of Latino U and Yonkers Partners in Education.
It is Cynthia’s fundamental belief that zip code and familial networks should not determine who succeeds in the American education system or advances on a successful career pathway. Cynthia is a frequent guest lecturer and has served as the guest speaker at the Blackboard Awards, Columbia University, Philanthropy Roundtable Annual Conference, Brooklyn College, National Council for Community and Education Partnerships, New America Alliance Economic Summit, New York University, Mercy College Education Summit and gave the Mercy College 2016 commencement address. In addition, she often speaks with policy makers, journalists, thought leaders and program specialists to inform legislation and strategies designed to address the financial, academic and social obstacles that prevent low-income students from succeeding in college, advancing on a successful career path and sound financial trajectory.