Why I work with HCM

My passion for postsecondary policy work stems directly from the belief that, while our postsecondary system is often held up as a beacon of opportunity and the “great equalizer,” it is in fact one of the key societal systems that creates, reinforces and perpetuates economic and social stratification. My goal is to change the system to ensure access to and success in postsecondary learning for those who have historically been excluded from the system, and through that work, deliver on the promise of equitable opportunity. 

Lara Couturier


Raised surrounded by educators, Dr. Lara Couturier developed an early belief in the potential of higher education to transform lives. In her own experience, she saw a dramatic shift in the opportunities available to her as a result of earning a postsecondary credential, and is now committed to helping students reach their goals.

As a director with HCM Strategists’ higher education policy team, Lara provides strategic advice and counsel to multiple clients including Lumina Foundation, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Campaign for College Opportunity. A nationally recognized expert in postsecondary research, practice and policy, Lara previously directed research and publications for Jobs for the Future’s (JFF) Postsecondary State Policy Network, and provided technical assistance to policy teams in 13 states in support of various student success initiatives. Prior to her work at JFF, Lara served as an independent research consultant for the Institute for Higher Education Policy, American Council on Education, the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, and other higher education initiatives and organizations. She also served as the interim principal investigator and director of research for the Futures Project: Policy for Higher Education in a Changing World, a higher education think tank based at Brown University. Dr. Couturier has written extensively on postsecondary policy, including such notable works as: The Future of Higher EducationChecks and Balances at Work; and “Balancing State Control with Society’s Needs” for the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Dr. Couturier holds a Ph.D. in history from Brown University. She also holds a master’s degree in history from Brown University, a master’s degree from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond.



Scroll Up