PETER MARTINEZ
PETER MARTINEZ, , Director of the Center for Urban School Leadership University of Illinois at Chicago, MLI Program Advisor

Peter Martinez has been involved with the MLI since its creation, measuring program effectiveness and lending his expertise in community organizing to training retreats and monthly discussions, providing real examples for the analysis of power plays and organizing tactics. Mr. Martinez has over 40 years of experience in leadership training and organization development.

His 25-year organizing career started with the Organization for the Southwest Community (OSC), a Saul Alinsky Industrial Areas Foundation (IAF) project, where he became the Executive Director within three years, managing projects across the southwest, and running organizer and leadership trainings nationally. He continued conducting leadership trainings as the Latino Institute's Associate Director for organizations including UNO, and in places as far as Johannesburg, Soweto, Cape Town, Durban, and Port Elizabeth for the South African Council of Churches.

In 1987, Mr. Martinez became the first full-time Executive Director of the Hispanic American Construction Industry Association (HACIA), where he increased the dues-paying membership four-fold, initiated paid affirmative action contracts as a way of funding the operating budget, and pioneered their annual banquet.

In 1991, Mr. Martinez became a senior program officer at the MacArthur Foundation, in charge of their $40 million Chicago Education Initiative. A decade later, he left MacArthur to design and lead a dramatically innovative urban principal preparation program called the Center for Urban School Leadership at the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he is currently the Director.

In 2009, he was among the 22 individuals chosen from a field of over 800 nominees to serve on the national committee to develop Accomplished Principal Standards for the United States.

In less than five years that the program has been in existence, it has prepared 40 new transformative principals for Chicago Public Schools. In fact, one of those leaders is the School Director for the UNO Veterans Memorial High School, opened in 2008, where Mr. Martinez continues to consult on the school's design and development.