Purpose and Aims

The goal of the program is to support early-career professionals from backgrounds historically marginalized or underrepresented in fields that center on education finance and policy. This includes (but is not limited to) first-generation professionals, scholars of color, and those who are solo or among a limited set of attendees from their past graduate programs or current institutions.

The program aims to reach scholars for whom this opportunity would substantially strengthen and expand their professional networks, as well as provide additional opportunities for feedback.


Mentees should be in years 1-3 of their first tenure-track or research-based job (i.e., jobs in which the production and communication of original research is a substantial component of duties). 

Mentors should be someone who is tenured or has at least 6 years of experience in a non-academic research position. In addition, mentors should have had managerial/supervisory experience (e.g., leading a research team, substantive home-institution mentorship of doctoral students).

Program Components

Mentees will be organized into groups and assigned to pairs of mentors. This small group structure is intended to facilitate peer-to-peer network growth as well as informal senior-junior mentorship. As far as practicable, mentees will be grouped with mentors according to research interests.

This year’s program will include the following three components:

  1. Kickoff meeting in January 2022 with full group from which small groups break out and informally chat with pairs of mentors;
  2. Interaction at March 2022 conference in two ways: (a) mentors attend mentees’ presentations; and (b) informal gathering to debrief on presentations, firm up next steps for the mentees’ work, and continue to build relationships.
  3. Summer 2022 (virtual) meetings by group to (a) follow up on progress mentees have made on any work presented at AEFP; and (b) connect informally around other supports—with an eye to launching the peer group as a vehicle for peer-to-peer support.

Program Timeframe

  • Application deadline: December 17, 2021 
  • Mentor/mentee pairings announced: late January 2022 
  • Program kickoff meeting: March 2022 

Application Information


  • Stephanie Cellini
  • Carrie Conaway
  • Rrajeev Darolia
  • Elizabeth Dhuey
  • Shaun Dougherty
  • David Figlio
  • Michael Gottfrried
  • Douglas Harris 
  • Robert Kelchen
  • Michael Kofoed
  • Seth Gershenson
  • Paul Morgan
  • Christine Pitts
  • Gema Zamarro 


  • Sade Bonilla
  • Carycruz Bueno
  • Kathryn Chapman
  • Richard DiSalvo
  • Maithreyi Gopalan
  • Adam Kho
  • Jacob Kirksey
  • Jeremy Landa
  • Veronica Minaya
  • Alberto Ortega
  • Lam Pham
  • Samantha Viano
  • Rachel White
  • Xiaoyang Ye