Project Analyst, Virginia Department of Education - Office of Technology
Thomas Franco is a first-generation, Latinx professional focused on the intersection of economic development, emerging technology, and equity-focused social policy. His portfolio spans communications, policy analysis, and technological innovation. Thomas is a Master in Public Policy student at Harvard University and a graduate of Case Western Reserve University, where he earned a BA in Cognitive Science. As an undergraduate, Thomas founded a community service organization and spearheaded a statewide GOTV initiative that sought to mobilize millennial Latinx voters during the 2016 presidential election. At Harvard, Thomas has served as Co-Chair of the U.S. Latinx Caucus and now co-leads the Harvard Journal of Hispanic Policy and the Harvard Latinx Leadership Initiative at the Center for Public Leadership. Equipped with firsthand experience in the classroom as a Teach for America corps member, Thomas is deeply committed to achieving educational equity. Currently, Thomas serves as a Project Analyst at the Virginia Department of Education’s (VDOE) Division of Data, Research, and Technology. At VDOE, Thomas helps design and deploy tools for educators across the Commonwealth to monitor and support student success. In addition, Thomas is focused on providing more opportunities for underserved populations. He believes this can be achieved by closing the digital divide and investing in economic development initiatives. Thomas currently serves as a Broadband Assistant at Rural Innovation Strategies, Inc. (RISI) based in Hartland, Vermont, where he helps to bring 21st century telecommunications infrastructure to rural communities in Vermont and across the country. He also recently founded Indi-Co Jobs, an online platform designed to connect undergraduate and graduate students with paid, remote opportunities. Thomas is an alumnus of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute internship program, the UnitedHealth Foundation Diversity Scholar program, and Leadership for Educational Equity’s Ready to Run Institute. Thomas recently relocated to Rutland, Vermont with his partner of nine years, George, and his two cats, Dusty and Murphy.