7th Congressional District, Democrat
Current Term 2015 - 2021
University of Colorado Regent Irene Griego was recently elected as the first female Latina Chair of the Board of Regents. She is a lifelong resident of Colorado whose career in public education took root with degrees from CU. She earned a bachelor’s degree in elementary education from the University of Colorado Boulder and a doctorate in school administration from the University of Colorado Denver, as well as a master’s in educational administration from the University of Northern Colorado.
Griego, a Democrat, was sworn in as a regent in December 2011 after being appointed by Gov. John Hickenlooper to represent the 7th Congressional District. The seat formerly was held by Regent Monisha Merchant, who resigned in September 2011; Griego’s appointment continued through the general election in 2012. She was elected in 2012, serving until the 2014 general election, and re-elected to serve from 2015-21.
In her 38-year career, Griego has worked as a classroom teacher, elementary school principal, community superintendent and instructor for aspiring school administrators. She established the Office of Diversity and Inclusion at Jefferson County Public Schools in 2010, and continues as its director in a post-retirement role. The systemwide effort was nationally recognized in September 2011 when the Jeffco School District received the prestigious National Association for Multicultural Education (NAME) award for an institution.
Griego spent a decade as community superintendent for the Jeffco district, responsible for general administration and supervision of instructional and administrative staff in central Jefferson County’s 37 K-12 schools. She also has worked as part-time faculty at CU Denver and Metropolitan State College of Denver; principal and assistant principal at elementary schools in Jefferson County, Denver and San Jose, Calif.; and teacher in Denver Public Schools.
She previously served as president of the Congress of Hispanic Educators (Denver Public Schools) and has belonged to the board of the Jeffco Action Center and community service organizations. Awards include the Colorado Distinguished Teacher’s Award (1985), Governor’s Award for Excellence in Education (1993) and the Wayne Carle Legacy Award for Outstanding Contribution to Diversity (2005).