Meria Cartarphen is the Superintendent of the Austin Independent School District (AISD). Prior to this position, Carstarphen served as the Superintendent of Saint Paul Public Schools in Saint Paul, Minnesota, and in accountability positions for public school systems in the District of Columbia, Kingsport, Tennessee, and Columbus, Ohio. Carstarphen currently serves as an Adjunct Faculty member in the University of Texas Department of Educational Administration; and on the boards of the Council of Great City Schools, Educational Testing Service, Austin Partners in Education, AISD Public Education Foundation, Texas Council of Urban School Districts, and the Children's Hospital/AISD Health Service Advisory Board. She is a student mentor through Austin Partners in Education and Seedling Foundation, an Ex-Officio member of the Austin Symphony Board of Directors, and a member of the Ballet Austin Board of Directors.
Carstarphen earned a B.A. in political science and Spanish from Tulane University, and master of education degrees from Auburn University and Harvard University. She earned a Ph.D. in Administration, Planning and Social Policy with a concentration in urban superintendency from the Harvard Graduate School of Education. She has also studied at the University of Seville, Spain, and University of Innsbruck, Austria.