An Arizonan since 1967, Dr. Angela S. Cotera graduated from Flagstaff High School, then earned a B.S. in Engineering Science and B.A. in the Honors Liberal Arts from the University of Texas at Austin. After college she returned to Arizona to work as a Nuclear Engineer at the Palo Verde Nuclear Generating Station, where she met her husband. She went back to graduate school, and earned a PhD in Applied Physics from Stanford University, specializing in Astrophysics.
Angela subsequently did post-doctoral research at both NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory and Steward Observatory, part of the University of Arizona. Since 2003 Dr. Cotera has worked on various NASA Hubble Space Telescope and Spitzer Space Telescope research projects from her home office in Avondale, as part of the SETI Institute, in collaboration with scientists from around the world.
In the fall of 2006, frustrated by Arizona politics, Angela felt compelled to get involved and do whatever she could to improve her state.
Angela is a graduate of the Emerge Arizona class of 2007, joining their Board of Directors as Treasurer in 2012. She was also a member of Leadership West Class IVX in 2008. She served on the Avondale Planning Commission from 2008-2013, and has served on several other Avondale Committees.
In 2008 Dr. Cotera ran for public office for the first time, and came within less than 5% of winning a seat in the Arizona State Senate against a four-term incumbent (in a Republican dominated district). In 2010, she ran for the Arizona House of Representatives; although she performed very well, she was unable to overcome the tsunami that hit Arizona Democrats that year.
Since 2008 she has used her campaign experience to help numerous school districts in her community win bond and override elections, participating in 11 school campaigns since 2008. Today, Angela is running for the State House of Representatives in Legislative District 19.