On September 29, 2021, Pedro Martinez, who has more than 20 years of experience in the private, nonprofit, and public education sectors, will begin serving as CEO of Chicago Public Schools.
Born in Aguascalientes, Mexico, Mr. Martinez came to Chicago with his family at the age of 5 in search of a better life. The oldest of 12 children, his CPS journey began as a student on Chicago’s west side, and he credits the education he received in our district’s schools with changing the trajectory of his life.
A proud graduate of Benito Juarez in the Pilsen community, CEO Martinez was the first in his family to graduate from high school and college, and he chose to dedicate his life to education, eventually returning to the school system of his youth as CPS’ Chief Financial Officer from 2003 - 2009.
Prior to joining CPS, CEO Martinez served as the Superintendent of the San Antonio Independent School District (SAISD), where he was focused on academic excellence, talent recruitment, culture shift, stakeholder engagement, and strong fiscal management - five priorities that are closely aligned to the CPS 5-year vision. Prior to his time at SAISD, Mr. Martinez served as Superintendent in Residence for the Nevada Department of Education, where he was responsible for advising the Governor’s office and the State Superintendent of Instruction on education policy decisions. And before that, he served as superintendent for the Washoe County School District in Reno, Nevada.
As a data-driven leader with in-depth knowledge of academic reform strategies, he firmly believes that with the right supports, students can and will rise to any challenge, and that by setting the bar high, many more young people will demonstrate the aptitude and aspiration to perform at higher levels and be well-prepared for success in college, career, and civic life.
CEO Martinez earned his M.B.A. from DePaul University in Chicago and his Bachelor of Science in Accounting from the University of Illinois. He is also a graduate of the Broad Superintendent Academy.