Mario Da Costa joins Teach Plus as the Pennsylvania Policy Manager, supporting the expansion of Pennsylvania’s statewide policy work through leading the Pennsylvania Policy Fellowship and Statewide Network. Mario’s journey to Teach Plus is what some people could consider a “unique” one: having immigrated from Portugal at the age of 9, his experiences growing up in Newark, NJ, instilled in him a desire to support the most impacted and disenfranchised communities – starting with education.
Most recently serving as the Associate Director for Strategic Initiatives and Operations at the College Board, Mario managed the digital advocacy efforts, federal government relations initiatives, and strategic coalition memberships across 45 states and territories. Before that, Mario worked in a variety of capacities in the charter sector – managing federal affairs campaigns for the National Alliance for Public Charter Schools and supporting strategic communications/research for Families for Excellent Schools. Successfully navigating both sides of the political spectrum, Mario has staffed/directed volunteers on both the Romney and Hillary campaigns while supporting various local level candidates throughout his career.
Before dipping his toes into the world of education/politics, Mario worked as a cook in several NYC restaurants, competed as a semi-professional MMA fighter, and wrote/produced music for a few artists.
Mario holds a B.A. in Political Science from Seton Hall University (Go Pirates!) and is an aspiring sommelier. When he’s not at work, you can usually find Mario doing something outdoors, supporting his alma mater, and behind a good book or an equally good bourbon.