Dr. Kalena Cortes comes to the Bush School from her previous position as an assistant professor in the School of Education at Syracuse University with courtesy appointments at the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs and the Department of Economics. She holds a PhD in economics from the University of California at Berkeley. She is a Faculty Research Fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research and a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA), and has been a visiting scholar at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, the National Bureau of Economic Research, and Princeton University. For the 2013-14 school year, she was a visiting scholar at Stanford University’s Center for Education Policy Analysis.
Dr. Cortes is an accomplished teacher and contributes in significant ways to key Bush School course offerings in policy analysis, immigration policy, and the economics of education, among others. She has an extensive publication record in the areas of the economics of education and economic demography. Her research focuses on policies relating to curriculum reform, diversity in higher education, post-secondary returns to education, and educational achievement of immigrant children in the United States.
Her emerging research interests in the economics of education and immigration policy will contribute significantly to the School’s policy research program. In addition, Dr. Cortes has been involved in a variety of major service activities, both on campus and in her profession. She is currently serving on the Board of Directors on the Association for Education Finance and Policy (AEFP) and is a Fellow at the Greater Texas Foundation. She is on the editorial board of the Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis journal and is an Associate Editor of AERA Open. She is also the recipient of several grants and fellowships; her research has been funded by Spencer Foundation, American Educational Research Association, Greater Texas Foundation, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, National Institutes of Health, and the US Department of Education - Institute of Education Sciences.