2018 Public Policy Forum Speakers

Keynote Speaker – Dr. Stella M. Flores

Associate Professor of Higher Education; Director of Access and Equity, Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy, New York University

Dr. Stella M. Flores is an Associate Professor of Higher Education at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development. She is also Director of Access and Equity at the Steinhardt Institute for Higher Education Policy at NYU. Dr. Flores holds an EdD in administration, planning, and social policy from Harvard University, an EdM from Harvard University, an MPAff from The University of Texas at Austin, and a BA from Rice University.

In her research she employs large-scale databases and quantitative methods to investigate the effects of state and federal policies on college access and completion rates for low-income and underrepresented populations. Dr. Flores has written about Minority Serving Institutions, immigrant students, English Language Learners, the role of alternative admissions plans and financial aid programs in college admissions in the U.S and abroad, demographic changes in U.S. education, and Latino students and community colleges. Her publications include various peer-reviewed articles in The ANNALS of the American Academy of Political and Social Science, Educational Researcher, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, American Journal of Education, The Review of Higher Education, Research in Higher Education, The Journal of Mixed Methods, The Journal of College Admission, The Future of Children, and The Journal of Hispanics in Higher Education, as well as three co-edited volumes. Her work has been cited in the 2003 U.S. Supreme Court Gratz v. Bollinger decision (dissenting opinion) and in various amicus briefs submitted to the Supreme Court on affirmative action in higher education admissions.

Keynote Speaker – Dr. Ted Mitchell

President, American Council on Education

Mitchell was president of Occidental College (CA) from 1999-2005. He served as U.S. undersecretary of education from 2014 until January 2017, reporting to the secretary of education and overseeing postsecondary education policies and programs. He also has served as vice chancellor and dean of the Graduate School of Education and Information Studies at the University of California, Los Angeles, and professor and chair of the Department of Education at Dartmouth College (NH). He has been a member of the Stanford University (CA) Board of Trustees. Prior to becoming under secretary of education, Mitchell was chief executive officer of the NewSchools Venture Fund from 2005-2014, which provides seed capital and counsel to leading education entrepreneurs at the K-12 level, and served as the president of the California State Board of Education. After concluding his service at the Department of Education, Mitchell served as a consultant to ACE in the areas of education attainment and innovation and leadership development. Mitchell received his bachelor’s, master’s and Ph.D. degrees from Stanford University.

Speaker – Dr. Karen Riley

Dean, Morgridge College of Education, University of Denver

Dr. Riley is the Dean of the Morgridge College of Education at the University of Denver. Her education includes a B.S. in Psychology; a M.A. in Early Childhood Special Education, and a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology with an emphasis in Child and Family Studies. She completed a two year post-doctoral fellowship at The Children’s Hospital in Denver in the Fragile X Treatment and Research Center and subsequently worked at the Child Development Unit within The Children’s Hospital. Riley is a Professor in the Department of Teaching and Learning Sciences

Dr. Riley currently serves on the Clinical and Scientific Advisory Board for the National Fragile X Foundation. She has over 15 years of experience in teaching and administration of early childhood special education programs and an additional 10 years of experience working with children who have neurodevelopmental disorders and their families. Particular areas of interest and expertise include assessment and intervention of infants and preschoolers, curriculum development, school consultation, behavioral interventions and low incidence disabilities. She lectures extensively throughout the US as well as internationally, on behavioral and educational interventions for children with neurodevelopmental disorders primarily those with fragile X syndrome.

Speaker – Dr. Lorelle Espinosa

AVP, Policy Research & Strategy, Center for Policy Research & Strategy, American Council on Education

Lorelle L. Espinosa serves as assistant vice president for ACE’s Center for Policy Research and Strategy, where she is responsible for the co-development and management of the center’s research agenda which focuses on issues of diversity and equity in 21st century higher education, public finance and higher education systems, and transformational leadership.

Espinosa has served the higher education profession for nearly 20 years, beginning in student affairs and undergraduate education at the University of California, Davis; Stanford University; and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She has contributed opinion and scholarly works to peer-reviewed journals, academic volumes and industry magazines on a variety of topics. Prior to ACE, she served as a senior analyst at Abt Associates, Inc. and as director of policy and strategic initiatives for the Institute for Higher Education Policy.

Espinosa holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in higher education and organizational change from the University of California, Los Angeles; a B.A. from the University of California, Davis; and an A.A. from Santa Barbara City College. ​​





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