Why I work with HCM

“This work is deeply personal. As a first-generation college graduate from a working-class, Mexican immigrant family, I have experienced firsthand the transformative impact of higher education. I came to HCM Strategists because we work hand-in-hand with cross-sector leaders–including college and university administrators, state government executives, and nonprofit groups–to improve postsecondary systems to be more responsive to the needs of today’s students. Together, we are advancing policy and practice in ways that will enable us to achieve racial justice and build an inclusive and thriving economy.”

Juana H. Sánchez

Senior Associate

Juana Sanchez currently serves as senior associate on HCM’s postsecondary team. In this role, Juana supports colleges and universities, not-for-profit organizations, state agencies and foundations in advancing policy to increase postsecondary attainment and close racial equity gaps. Leveraging her diverse background in higher education administration, collective impact, and policy analysis, Juana supports various national projects. She provides a range of services, including strategy development, convening and facilitation support, and policy research.

Previously, Juana served as the director of postsecondary initiatives at the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce and its strategic affiliate, UNITE-LA. In this role, she provided strategy development, policy research and convening support to the L.A. Compact’s Institutions of Higher Education Collaborative and the L.A. Opportunity Youth Collaborative. Additionally, she advised the L.A. Area Chamber on its state and federal higher education policy priorities and helped implement aspects of L.A. Cash for College, the region’s largest financial aid completion campaign.

Prior to her work with the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, Juana performed policy research for the Assistant Commissioner of Higher Education in Boston. She also previously worked at the Hispanic Association of Colleges and Universities (HACU) in Washington, D.C. She began her career in direct service, working as an academic advisor and retention coordinator at the University of the District of Columbia.

Juana’s passion for education equity stems from her own experiences as a first-generation college student and her upbringing as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. She graduated from UCLA, before going on to earn her master’s in public policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University.  Juana currently lives in Los Angeles, California with her husband and their 4-year old chihuahua.



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