Liliana Polo-McKenna: Chief Executive Officer
Contact Information: 718-369-0303
Liliana has, in many ways, come full circle in her life by joining OBT; Chief Program Officer (CPO) and in her current role as Chief Executive Officer. She is a native of Sunset Park, and daughter of Colombian immigrants whose family members worked in what is now Industry City on the Brooklyn waterfront. Liliana brings almost twenty years of experience in working with young people and building teams to best serve their needs. Beginning her career as a teacher at Boys and Girls High School, Liliana went on to become founding principal of West Brooklyn Community High School. As principal of West Brooklyn, she worked in partnership with Good Shepherd Services to replicate its model transfer school, serving over-aged/under-credited students in Sunset Park, Brooklyn, the community where Liliana was born and raised. Through working in partnership with students whom the traditional high school systems had failed, families, and staff, Liliana saw the potential of a school that was built around the needs of those within it. Liliana credits the partnership with Good Shepherd Services and the incredible staff at West Brooklyn with making it one of the top performing transfer schools in the city.
When presented with the opportunity to pursue a doctorate, her focus was building programs at state and district levels that effectively support staff to meet young people’s needs. After completing her studies, Liliana became Vice President of the New York City Leadership Academy where she led programming for principals and their teams in school districts across the country to assist in their transformation efforts. A dedicated leader for equality and a strong advocate for OBT’s mission, Liliana is a welcome addition to the leadership team. Liliana holds a Doctorate in Education Leadership (EdLD) from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, a BA and MAT from Brown University, and a Specialist Diploma from Queens College.