Vice President, Higher Education Policy and Practice

The Education Trust Washington, DC

Dr. José Luis Santos was selected as the Vice President, Higher Education Policy and Practice at the Education Trust. His research centers on resource allocation, public university privatization, and finance policy as it relates to access to education for underrepresented students. He joined the Trust on August 4, 2014.

The Education Trust is dedicated to closing the achievement gaps that separate low-income students and students of color from other youth. The organizations fulfills its mission through a strategy that combines rigorous analysis and reporting of education data, on-the-ground technical support to educators working to improve results for students, and ardent advocacy at both the state and national level. The Trust is a widely respected voice for improvements in education at all levels, with an unmatched reputation for integrity and effectiveness that has earned the trust of funders, practitioners, and policymakers.

Dr. Santos recently served as an Associate Professor in the Graduate School of Education & Psychology at Pepperdine University, has been selected. He was previously an assistant professor in the Higher Education and Organizational Change division at UCLA's Graduate School of Education and Information Studies. He was also an affiliated scholar of the Higher Education Research Institute at UCLA and an affiliated faculty member of the Chicano Studies Research Center.

Prior to his time at UCLA, Dr. Santos served as a senior institutional researcher and the founding executive director of the Latina/o Policy Research Initiative in the College of Humanities at the University of Arizona. He was also an associate of the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, a Distinguished Scholar for the Sudikoff Family Institute for Education and New Media, and an Academic Fellow of the Institute for Higher Education Policy and Lumina Foundation Academic Fellows Program.

Before embarking upon his academic career, Dr. Santos served active duty as an enlisted Marine for three and a half years, then an additional three and a half years as a Naval Midshipman 1st Class. He deployed to Operation Desert Storm and Desert Shield. He competed and was selected for the U.S. Navy Broadened Opportunity for Officer Selection & Training (BOOST) program. He was one of only 11 Marines and 200 sailors to complete the program. Upon graduation from BOOST, Dr. Santos earned a Naval Reserve Officer Training Corps scholarship. He completed his bachelor’s degree and deferred his Marine Corps officer commission to pursue further education. The B.A. is in Mexican American studies, his M.A. in educational psychology, and the PhD in higher education economics and finance policy were earned at the University of Arizona.

The search was led by Jane Gruenebaum with Karla Saunders.