Patrick RodriguezLeaders USA 2023
Co-Executive Director, Georgia Coalition for Higher Education in Prison
Patrick Rodriguez is the co-executive director of the Georgia Coalition for Higher Education in Prison and the director of Georgia State University’s Prison Education Project. In his work, Patrick builds and advances equitable, high-quality educational pathways to degree completion for incarcerated people throughout the state of Georgia. Through his work with the National Executive Council at Columbia University's Center for Justice, he is widely known as a national thought leader on prison education programs and policy. He spent 52 months incarcerated in Georgia prisons and leads with that lived experience by centering and uplifting the voices of the students he serves. Since his release in 2019, he has expanded in-prison degree programs, including increasing enrollment of new students who are incarcerated and creating powerful re-entry initiatives to support continued education post-release. Patrick builds bridges across southern perspectives by placing the value of human life at the front of the conversation to create a new way forward to strengthen people, families, communities, and our workforce.