Elissa Vanaver

Elissa Vanaver

CEO of Breakthrough Collaborative

Brief Biography

Elissa Vanaver is CEO of the Breakthrough Collaborative, a national leader in educational equity preparing middle and high school students for college success and preparing college students to succeed as future educators and leaders.

Previously, Vanaver spent more than a decade of leading growth at the Collaborative’s Miami affiliate. At Breakthrough Miami, her roles included volunteer, founding board chair, director of strategic development, and CEO.

Before joining Breakthrough, Elissa was an award-winning newspaper editor and media executive, holding a variety of positions, including managing editor, vice president of human resources, and chief of staff for the Miami Herald, which publishes in English and Spanish. Her 25-year journalism career also included management, editing, and news-writing at the Dallas Times Herald and the San Jose Mercury News.

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