Vanessa Mendoza

Vanessa Mendoza serves as Transcend’s Chief Operations Officer. In this capacity, Vanessa works to ensure the functions of talent recruitment, people/human resources, finance, operations, and strategy are well coordinated, aligned, and effective in supporting the organization’s current and future programmatic goals and ambitions. 

Prior to joining Transcend, Vanessa spent a decade at Teach For America (TFA), where she served in multiple capacities to build and maintain strong, sustainable and equitable operations. During her tenure at TFA, she oversaw some of the organization’s most complex cross-functional projects involving the finance, people/human resources, technology, legal, risk/compliance, and real estate functions. Most recently, she was the Senior Vice President of Enterprise Strategy, where she married ongoing work in support of operational excellence with the strategic evolution of the organization’s overall operating model. 

Vanessa began her career in architecture and brings to her work the user-centered lens she gained early on as a designer. With this perspective, she strives to take on all strategy and operations work in a way that balances organizational health and impact alongside human needs and experiences.

Vanessa has a B.A. in Architecture and Urban Studies from Yale College and an MBA from MIT Sloan School of Management. She currently serves on the board of The Next Step Public Charter School in Washington D.C. and lives in Takoma Park, MD, with her husband, Brandon, and son, Miles.


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Working at Transcend presents you with an opportunity to work with kind, passionate, collaborative, and feedback-driven teammates to reimagine the future of schools. Our teammates partner with schools and leaders to redesign schools and accelerate innovation.

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Transcend is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit that operates nationally.