Elena Gaona is the associate director of Media Relations at the Center for American Progress, where she focuses on immigration, race and ethnicity, criminal justice, democracy, and government. Before joining American Progress, she worked at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in communications around fair housing and Spanish-language media outreach. Prior to moving to D.C., she worked as a reporter at major English- and Spanish-language daily newspapers in California and Virginia. She earned her bachelor’s degree in journalism from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas.