Tapia Center’s Juliet Stipeche named Houston’s first director of education

Alumna Juliet Stipeche ’96 has been selected by Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner as director of education, a new position within the mayor’s administration. Stipeche officially began Feb. 1, ending three years as associate director of Rice’s Richard Tapia Center for Excellence and Equity.

Juliet Stipeche

Juliet Stipeche ’96

“Juliet is very passionate about education and children and I share that passion,” Turner said. “She is a visionary with transformative ideas. Her collaborative approach of working with parents, administrators, business, law enforcement and neighborhoods will help achieve my goal of moving this city forward and reducing the income inequality that is so often the result of deficiencies in the education system.”

In her new role, Stipeche will coordinate education resources in the city and organize programs, events and conferences to provide students and families with the necessary resources to plan for high school graduation, college and careers. She will also collaborate with regional partners to impact education in the Houston area.

“The creation of this new position is meant to complement, not compete, with the hard work of our area school districts,” Turner said. “Creating the strong, well-educated Houston of tomorrow will require everyone working together. Juliet is the perfect choice for ensuring my vision gets implemented.”

“I am excited and deeply honored to work with Mayor Sylvester Turner, who is committed to building a city where educational equity and opportunity exist for every child regardless of ZIP code,” Stipeche said. “I look forward to collaborating with fantastic community partners to build lasting relationships to promote educational excellence in the city of Houston.”

Stipeche joined Rice in 2013 as associate director for the Tapia Center, where she served as project manager for various programs, including the Tapia Math-Science Scholars progam, the XSEDE Scholars Program, the Institute for African-American Mentoring in Computer Sciences, and Empowering Leadership Alliance-Rice.

She spent five years as a trustee on the Houston Independent School District Board, including serving as president in 2014. Since 2007, she has been shareholder of counsel at Nagorny & Stipeche P.C. She has written and presented lectures on topics ranging from demanding excellence in education to empowering students in today’s world to educating for equity in Texas.

She graduated magna cum laude from Rice with a B.A. in political science, policy studies and religious studies, and she earned her law degree at the University of Texas.




About Jennifer Evans

Jennifer Evans is a senior editor in the Rice's Office of Public Affairs.