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Amy Laitinen is deputy director for Higher Education at the New America Foundation. 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 and workforce education, including the $12-billion American Graduation Initiative and what became the state-focused Race to the Top for College Affordability proposal. She also served as a policy advisor at the White House on community college issues and helped plan the White House Community College Summit. Prior to joining New America, Laitinen served as a senior policy analyst at the non-partisan think tank Education Sector. The Chronicle of Higher Education recently named Laitinen as one top ten innovators of 2013 for her work on competency-based education. Her current work focuses on federal policies to increase quality and transparency in higher education.
Laitinen is the product of public higher education, holding an associate 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.