Senior Policy Adviser
Expertise: Federal K-12 education policy, high school reform, educational issues related to Latinos, English language learners, and immigrant students
Melissa Lazarín is a Senior Policy Adviser for the Education Policy team at American Progress. She has focused principally on school improvement, educational innovation including expanded learning time and charter schooling, high school reform, standards, and education issues related to English language learners and Latinos.
Prior to joining American Progress, Melissa served as director of education policy at First Focus, a national children’s advocacy organization, and associate director of education policy at the National Council of La Raza, a national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization. In both capacities she advanced federal legislation related to high school reform, educational opportunities for immigrant students, and standards-based reform. Earlier in her career Melissa worked as a policy analyst with Social Policy Research Associates in Oakland, California, where she evaluated Job Corps, school-to-work, workforce development programs, and high school programs.
She holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and a master’s degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.