Expertise: Politics, progressive policy, immigration and integration policy, media, Latino issues, race and ethnicity
Angela Maria Kelley is the Executive Director of the Center for American Progress Action Fund and a Senior Vice President at the Center for American Progress. Kelley’s work focuses on politics, progressive policy, immigration and integration policy, media, Latino issues, and race and ethnicity.
Kelley is a well-known authority on the policy and politics of immigration. She joined American Progress in 2009 and was the first Vice President for Immigration Policy until November 2014. As Vice President, Kelley applied her many years of experience in the immigration field to the organization’s immigration policy work. In the years since Kelley’s arrival at American Progress, the organization has published numerous impactful reports and analyses on a range of immigration issues, including the economic impact of state anti-immigrant laws, the economic value of immigration reform, the cost of mass deportation, and the integration trends of America’s newcomers. As Vice President, Kelley played a leading role in creating and driving collaborative efforts with national immigrant rights, civil rights, labor, and ethnic organizations. She is widely quoted in the press—including The New York Times, The Washington Post, and Politico—and makes frequent radio and television appearances, including appearances on PBS, MSNBC, Fox News, and NPR. Kelley took a leave of absence from American Progress in November 2014 to work as advisor in the White House on immigration executive actions. She also served as the vice president for campaigns and advocacy at Planned Parenthood Federation of America before returning to American Progress.
Before joining American Progress, Kelley served as director of the Immigration Policy Center, a research and rapid-response organization that provides policymakers, academics, the media, and the general public with access to accurate information about the effects of immigration on the U.S. economy and society. Prior to that, Kelley was deputy director at the National Immigration Forum, where she headed its legislative, policy, and communications activities and oversaw its operations. During her service there, Kelley was a frontline negotiator as Congress debated proposed comprehensive immigration reform legislation. She was also at the forefront of advocacy that secured key legislative victories such as the Legal Immigration Family Equity Act, the Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act, and the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act.
Kelley, the daughter of South American immigrants, began her career as an attorney for a legal services agency in Washington, D.C., representing low-income immigrants on immigration and family matters. She is a graduate of The George Washington University Law School and a Georgetown University Law School Women’s Law and Public Policy Fellow.