Alicia N. Garcia is the director of the Midwest Comprehensive Center and a principal policy analyst on the education team at the American Institutes for Research (AIR). She has more than 10 years’ experience in education law and policy. In her role as Midwest Comprehensive Center director, Garcia manages a core staff of 12 to build the capacity of state education agencies in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin to design, sustain, and implement reforms that support student success.
Garcia was formally a project director for a five-year technical assistance and evaluation project—funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and designed to identify best practices for scaling up three interventions in place at 35 institutes of higher education—and deputy director for the Regional Educational Laboratory (REL) Midwest, a research center funded by the Institute of Education Sciences (IES). She also previously served as an alliance liaison for the REL Southwest Texas Hispanic STEM Research Alliance and as Minnesota state manager for the Midwest Comprehensive Center. Garcia also works on other projects requiring education policy expertise and contributes to AIR’s Education Policy Center.
Prior to joining AIR, Garcia was a practicing attorney in the field of education law. Garcia earned a master’s degree in cultural and educational policy studies from Loyola University Chicago and a juris doctor degree from The University of Texas School of Law.