Improving lives through invention

David Coronado, Senior Program Officer

David Coronado joined The Lemelson Foundation in 2016 to help equip schools and school districts across the United States with innovative tools and resources that help empower youth with cutting-edge skills and confidence to design their own futures. As a Senior Program Officer, Coronado achieves this through the development and stewardship of a strong network of local and national cross-sector partnerships that support and advocate for student achievement, promote STEM and Invention Education, and explore ground-breaking solutions to modern challenges.

Prior to joining the Foundation, Coronado helped transform education and developed various efforts to provide young people with equal and inclusive access to Invention Education and STEM coursework within K-12 systems and in higher education. His career includes Harvey Mudd College, where he worked on federal TRIO programs in STEM, and he also served as the Executive Director of Oregon MESA (Math, Engineering, Science Achievement) at Portland State University (PSU). At PSU, Coronado also served as a diversity and equity leader for the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science by designing courses and programs aimed at retaining Black, Indigenous, People of Color, women, and low-income students. Nationally, Coronado served as the President of MESA USA, where he supported programs for more than 49,000 K-16 students. Coronado is the chair emeritus of the national STEM Funder’s Network. He has also served on numerous other local and national boards.

Coronado is the Founder of InventEd, an initiative of The Lemelson Foundation focused on developing and nurturing a national coalition of Invention Education leaders to encourage field-building, collaboration, and advocacy efforts to ensure that all youth – especially those who have been traditionally underserved – have access to experiences and tools that build their inventive mindsets.

Coronado has earned national recognition for his work and service. In 2015, he earned Portland State University’s Mary H. Cumpston Award for Service to Students. This award represents the University’s highest honor for an academic professional or unranked university administrator who has demonstrated excellence in service to students. He is also a sought-after guest speaker for conferences and events. Most recently, Coronado has been featured at: Department of Education STEM Webinar: Invention Education (October 2020); STEM Learning Ecosystems Conference: Creating the Next Generation of Innovators (March 2020); MESA USA National Teacher Conference: How to Create the Change Agents of Tomorrow (June 2022); and, EdWeek STEM Webinar: Real-World Problem Solving: How Invention Education Drives Student Learning (June 2022).

Coronado is proudly the first member of his family to graduate from college, holding a B.A. from Occidental College.