Courtney Torres

Chief Program Officer

Before joining Girls Leadership as Chief Program Officer, Courtney Torres served as Director of Program Implementation at New Leaders, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering education leaders to be effective and positive agents of change. In this role, she provided coaching, consulting support, and leadership development for school and district leaders nationwide, including those in the West Contra Costa Unified and Oakland Unified School Districts.

Courtney’s extensive career in education began in 1998 with the West Contra Costa School District, where she taught special education. She later taught special education and humanities in the Oakland Unified School District and the Chapel Hill-Carrboro School District in North Carolina. In 2007, she became a K-12 principal. For over a decade, she led public, private, and charter schools, developing expeditionary, experiential, and project-based learning programs in California and Colorado. Her background also includes seven years of post-secondary instructional experience, notably as a volunteer college instructor at Mount Tamalpais College, a degree-granting institution for incarcerated individuals at San Quentin.

An advocate and agitator for marginalized communities, Courtney has influenced national education policy as the NAACP Education Director for the Rocky Mountain Region (Colorado, Montana, and Wyoming). She has also served as an advisor and board member for various organizations, including Sims Fayola, which works to improve the life outcomes of young men and boys of color, and the Frederick Leon Marcus Youth Academy, which provides male high school students from marginalized communities in Marin County with training in personal development, civic engagement, leadership development, social justice, community building, health and wellness, financial literacy, coding, trauma response, and public safety.

Throughout her leadership journey, Courtney has developed expertise in organizational leadership, public speaking, curriculum and program development, and team and leadership development. Her experience has equipped her with valuable skills in leading initiatives focused on social-emotional learning and creating inclusive environments.

Courtney is an outdoor enthusiast and sports lover, with a particular passion for soccer and track and field, having coached both at the high school level. A mother of three, she has also been deeply involved in theater, volunteering hundreds of hours as a dedicated stage mom. This role involved mentoring and supporting young artists, providing technical and stage assistance, and offering backstage operational support.

A prolific public speaker and International Coaching Federation (ICF) member, Courtney holds a BA in Politics and Religious Studies from Occidental College, an MA in English Language and Literature from Holy Names University, and an MA.Ed in Education Leadership and Supervision.