Lea is an education advocate and independent consultant in education reform. She most recently led Democrats for Education Reform as their National Deputy Director, then briefly as their Acting Executive Director. Prior to that she served as a State Director for StudentsFirst, lobbying in multiples states on education reform issues including charter school quality and expansions to tenure reform. A radical centrist, Lea is inspired by those with the audacity to test, engage, revise and break boundaries for the greater good.

Lea reveres those who have pursued positive change, backed by principle and facts, often in the face of great risk or political resistance. A daughter of a refugee who immigrated to the United States as a child, and who later met Lea’s dad as Vista Volunteers, Lea’s world view is shaped by a commitment to social justice and the optimism that all people design the fabric of society, and that government bears the responsibility and capacity to intervene and scale what works. 

Lea started her career as a Teach for America Corps Member in East Palo Alto, California. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Claremont McKenna College, where she double majored in history and government on a gender studies track, and a Masters degree in Public Policy from the University of Chicago’s Harris School of Public Policy.