Languages Department
Learning Differences Conference 2013

Ybarra, Lea, Ph.D.
Executive Director
Johns Hopkins University Center of Talented Youth, MD, USA

Lea Ybarra has a doctorate in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley, and is Executive Director of the Johns Hopkins University Center for Talented Youth (CTY), which identifies and provides academic programs to highly gifted students.  CTY enrolls 70,000 students annually from throughout the United States and 120 countries, and is highly regarded for its course offerings in mathematics, sciences, engineering and technology. These courses, as well as a wide range of courses in the humanities and social sciences, are offered at thirty campus sites, including Johns Hopkins, Princeton, and Stanford.  CTY has become the most extensive pre-collegiate program in the world with sites and partnerships in China, Spain, Mexico, Ireland, Thailand, Saudi Arabia and Malaysia. Since its founding in 1979, CTY has enrolled over one million children in its academic talent search.

Previously to directing the Center for Talented Youth, Dr. Ybarra also developed and implemented a variety of projects that focused on gender equity and the STEM disciplines, including Project EXCEL, which promoted math, science and computer technology opportunities for young women. She has been appointed to various commissions and advisory committees, including the U.S. State Department’s Advisory Committee on Exceptional Children in Overseas Schools, the Johns Hopkins’ Council on K-12 Education, the Governor of Maryland’s Commission on Hispanic Affairs, The Maryland State Advisory Council on Gifted and Talented Education, the Harvard University Journal of Hispanic Policy, and the University of Warwick Advisory Board of the Centre for Research in Gifted and Talented Education in the UK.

A recipient of numerous awards for her teaching, research and community service activities, her research includes topics in: education; family studies; race, class and gender issues; and peace and conflict studies. She has lectured extensively in the U.S. and abroad and her publications include the book, film, and Smithsonian photo exhibit entitled Americanos with Edward James Olmos.  Among the awards Dr. Ybarra has received are the Johns Hopkins’ Diversity Leadership Award, the top 100 Most Influential Hispanics in the U.S., Maryland’s Top 100 Women, the CSUF Exceptional Service Award for Excellence in Teaching and Community Service, the Rosa Parks Award for Outstanding Community Service, and the Promete Foundation Award in Spain in recognition of her international work with children.