Emily Labandera

Emily Labandera, Director of Research, Excelencia in Education

Emily Labandera

Director of Research

Current Position:
As Director of Research, Emily leads research and project coordination that furthers Excelencia’s portfolio of policy, programs, and practice to accelerate Latino student success in higher education. She conducts research and data analysis on topics related to Latinos in higher education; project manages several ongoing projects that inform public policy and institutional practice and develops dissemination plans for research publications; collaborates, coordinates, and supports research colleagues in their efforts as it relates to practice and research; coordinates across teams and portfolios for organizational work and deliverables; and, evolves and maintains key relationships with partner organizations, funders, practitioners, and institutions to advance Excelencia’s research agenda.

Past Experiences:
Emily’s path in higher education policy was sparked by her personal experiences as a first-generation and STEM undergraduate student. Upon deciding on a career change to that of public service and being a change agent, Emily pursued public policy in her graduate studies. During her graduate studies, she focused on higher education policy and research and interned at Education Reform Now and Excelencia in Education. Emily earned her Master of Public Policy from George Washington University in 2019, which prepared her with the necessary skills to think critically and analyze higher education data and policy deeply at national, state, and local levels.

Why are you bringing your talent to Excelencia?
Excelencia’s core mission of accelerating Latino student success in higher education to enhance our workforce, leadership, and economy, the vision and leadership of Excelencia’s leaders, and the knowledge that our efforts push the needle forward in service of our comunidad are all part of the why I bring my talent to Excelencia. Our collective effort in transforming higher education to be a more equitable place for Latino, and all, students is the factor that motivates me every day to work alongside my colleagues and our leadership.

How would you describe working at Excelencia?
Working at Excelencia is an enriching, collaborative, and rewarding experience. Across the entire team at Excelencia, we share a deep-rooted stewardship of mission in serving our community. The passion and effort are palpable amongst our team, making it an honor to work here.

Latinos in Higher Education - 2024 Compilation of Fast Facts - web pop-up banner with "Learn More" button.