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Amy Laitinen is deputy director for Higher Education at the New America Foundation. Prior to joining New America, Laitinen was a senior policy analyst for higher education at Education Sector, a non-partisan education think tank in Washington D.C., where she focused on student financial aid and federal higher education tax policy. Laitinen previously served as a policy advisor to the undersecretary and assistant secretary for vocational and adult education at the U.S. Department of Education where she was responsible for developing policy and budget proposals for postsecondary education, adult and workforce education, and inter-agency policy. She also led policy design efforts for President Obama's proposed $12-billion American Graduation Initiative and served as a policy advisor in the White House, where she helped plan the White House Community College Summit.
Laitinen is the product of public higher education, holding an associate’s degree from Miami-Dade Community College, a bachelor’s degree from New College of Florida, and a master’s degree in public policy from the University of California at Berkeley.