Why I work with HCM

I grew up in one of the poorest and least educated cities in the United States. I have seen first-hand how transformative education can be for someone, but unfortunately, not everyone has equitable access to educational opportunities. I do this work for my community and the many others like it that have been marginalized and are too often forgotten. I do this work so that when we say that America is the land of equal opportunity, one day we might be right.

Elizabeth Salinas

Director, Research

As a director for research for HCM Strategists’ postsecondary policy team, Elizabeth Salinas is dedicated to identifying and eliminating equity gaps in higher education. A specialist in research and data analysis, she provides strategic guidance for multiple clients including Lumina Foundation and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Elizabeth’s drive to develop policies that eliminate educational inequities is grounded in her early professional career working directly with aspiring college students. Elizabeth began her career on Capitol Hill working on STEM education policy as a fellow with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, later accepting a position in her hometown of Brownsville, Texas as a high school physics teacher. After completing her graduate studies, she served as a program coordinator for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s (MIT) Office of Engineering Outreach Program. In these roles, Elizabeth spent years supporting teenagers and young adults through the college selection and application process, specifically engaging students from traditionally underrepresented and underserved backgrounds. These experiences have given Elizabeth a clear-eyed focus on why our nation needs stronger education policies, and a resolve to always remember the students that these efforts are meant to benefit.

A proud first-generation college student, Elizabeth earned her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from MIT and a master’s degree in higher education from Harvard University. She currently resides in Westwood, Massachusetts and enjoys baking in her spare time.



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