A Santa Barbara native, Pedro Paz, PhD has expressed his passion for education through his involvement with a variety of local nonprofits, educational organizations, and causes. Currently he serves as Executive Director of the Santa Barbara Education Foundation, a nonprofit devoted to enriching the academic, artistic, and personal development of Santa Barbara students. Previously, he served as Director, Policy and External Affairs for the Santa Barbara Foundation, and was employed by the County of Santa Barbara, working as the program and evaluation manager for First 5 Santa Barbara County. First 5 partners with individuals and organizations throughout the county, supporting the health, early learning, and well-being of children pre-natal through age five, and their families. Pedro has also worked for a number of local organizations including La CASA de la Raza, UC Santa Barbara, and both the Santa Barbara and Carpinteria school districts. For nearly three years, he was employed by the County of Merced, ultimately serving as the executive director of First 5 Merced County.
Pedro is committed to serving his community and giving back to causes that contribute to its diversity and vibrant nature. He served a trustee for the Santa Barbara Unified School District Board of Education, having been elected to the board in 2012. He is also a former commissioner for the County of Santa Barbara Human Relations Commission.
Pedro attended Dos Pueblos High School and Santa Barbara City College. He received both his master’s degree and doctorate degree in education, specializing in language, culture, and literacy from UC Santa Barbara.