Alicia N. Garcia is a principal policy analyst at AIR. She has more than 11 years’ experience in education law and policy. Garcia is the director of the Midwest Comprehensive Center, where she manages a core staff of 26 to build the capacity of state education agencies in Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin to design, sustain, and implement reforms that support student success. Projects carried out by the center focus on several federal priority areas including supporting teacher and leader effectiveness, implementing college- and career-ready standards and assessments, and turning around low-performing schools.
Garcia also serves as co-director of the State Support Network, which is focused on supporting implementation of the Every Student Succeeds Act in all states by providing a variety of technical assistance opportunities to state education agencies and school districts. These activities include communities of practice, peer-to-peer exchanges, and individualized technical assistance focused on topics identified through needs-sensing efforts with states and districts.
Garcia was previously the project director for a five-year technical assistance and evaluation project funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation designed to identify best practices for scaling up three interventions in place at 35 institutes of higher education. Garcia was also formerly 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. Prior to joining AIR, Garcia was a practicing attorney in the field of education law.