Melissa Lazarin
Senior Policy Advisor, Education Policy


  • Accountability
  • Educational standards
  • Federal policy
  • Race and diversity

Melissa Lazarín is a senior policy advisor for the education policy team at the Center for American Progress. She has focused principally on school improvement, educational innovation including expanded learning time and charter schooling, high school reform, standards, and education issues related to English-language learners and Latinos. Prior to joining American Progress, Lazarín served as director of education policy at First Focus, a national children’s advocacy organization, and associate director of education policy at the National Council of La Raza, a national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization. In both capacities she advanced federal legislation related to high school reform, educational opportunities for immigrant students, and standards-based reform. Earlier in her career Lazarín worked as a policy analyst with Social Policy Research Associates in Oakland, Calif., where she evaluated Job Corps, school-to-work, workforce development programs, and high school programs. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Stanford University and a master’s degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.