Strada collaborates with students, policymakers, educators, and employers across the U.S. to strengthen the link between education and opportunity.
We prioritize policies, practices, and programs that help ensure postsecondary education provides equitable pathways to opportunity.
We advance our mission through research, grantmaking, social impact investments, public policy solutions, Strada-supported nonprofit organizations, and strategic initiatives.
Katherine Valle-Palacios, the senior vice president of public policy, joined Strada in September 2023. She leads the development and analysis of a public policy agenda that informs the foundation’s advocacy at the federal and state levels.
Valle-Palacios has spent more than 10 years working on federal education policy.
Most recently, Valle-Palacios worked for the Domestic Policy Council at the White House as the special assistant to the president on education. During her tenure, she was central in developing the postsecondary education agenda included in President Biden’s American Families Plan and the Build Back Better Plan, which led to the largest increases to the maximum federal Pell Grant awards in more than a decade. She also played a pivotal role in drafting various student loan policy proposals, including those related to student loan debt relief and improvements to existing debt relief programs such as income-driven repayment plans and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
Before serving at the White House, Valle-Palacios spent five years working in various roles for the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor. She began her time there as an education policy advisor, becoming a senior education policy advisor, and ultimately the director of education policy covering issues ranging from childcare to the workforce. Valle-Palacios served in several research analyst roles for the Institute for Higher Education Policy and was an associate director of policy for the Advisory Committee on Student Financial Assistance. She also spent time in the Dominican Republic as a volunteer and volunteer leader in education for the Peace Corps.
Valle-Palacios earned her bachelor’s degree in criminology from the University of Florida and two master's degrees, one in public policy and one in higher education, from the University of Michigan.