Contact CAN Staff
4900 Gonzales Street, Room 111
Austin, TX 78702
Email: See below.
Raul Alvarez, Executive Director
Raul Alvarez was hired to serve as CAN’s Executive Director in October 2015 and brings a diverse set of skills and experience to the organization. Alvarez served as an Austin City Council member from 2000 to 2006 and as a representative of the City Council on CAN’s governing board during that time. In 2004, he served as the Chair of the CAN governing board.
After serving on the Austin City Council, Alvarez was elected to serve on the Austin Community College Board of Trustees from 2008 – 2010. He also served on the Board of Capital Metro, the Electric Utility Commission, and the Govalle/Johnston Neighborhood Planning Team. Alvarez is the board president of the East Austin Conservancy and a founding member of Futuro Fund Austin.
Since 2007, Alvarez has worked for the Austin Independent School District. First, he held the position of Grassroots Community Coordinator for the Office of Redesign and since 2010 worked as an Administrative Supervisor for the Office of Teaching and Learning where he provided planning, research and administrative support for school improvement programs. Alvarez also served as AISD staff lead on community collaborations such as My Brother’s Keeper, Hispanic Futures, Missing School Matters, the Texas Education Consortium for Male Students of Color, and the Eliminating Crime & Violence Community Collaboration.
Alvarez holds a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering from Stanford University and a Master of Science in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Texas at Austin.
Mary Dodd, Assistant Director
Mary Dodd began working for Community Advancement Network as Assistant Director in February 2008. Dodd facilitated a Steering Committee of local experts to develop the CAN Community Dashboard of 17 socio-economic indicators that track the overall health and well-being of Austin and Travis County.
Ms. Dodd facilitates and provides staff support to many CAN initiatives and events. Ms. Dodd writes CANews, an email newsletter that is published monthly highlighting research, reports and opportunities to participate in community planning. She is also the key writer for other CAN publications, including the annual Community Dashboard report and the CAN End of Year report
Ms. Dodd has previously worked as Executive Director of Austin Area Research Organization,a business-oriented, nonpartisan think tank of regional leaders in Central Texas. She facilitated the Health Care Industry Steering Committee and the Semiconductor Manufacturing Industry Steering Committee as an Industry Liaison with Capital Area Training Foundation. She has worked in fund development and communications for The Austin Project and UT Elementary Charter school. Ms. Dodd is a trained facilitator and has a B.A. degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. She began her career as a television reporter and news anchor.
Carlos Soto, Research Analyst
Carlos A Soto became part of the CAN team in March 2016 when he was hired to the Research Analyst position. Pursuing a desire to make a difference in the lives of children and families with limited English proficiency (LEP), Carlos began his public service career in 2010 working as a bilingual elementary school teacher serving the low income and recent immigrant populations in AISD. Carlos earned his Bachelor of Science in Anthropology degree in 2009 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and a Certificate in Geographic Information Science from Texas State University in 2015.