Gabriella Gómez to Join Strada as EVP of Policy, Advocacy, and Communications

Seasoned postsecondary education policy leader to oversee nonprofit organization’s advocacy work with state and federal policymaker
March 9, 2023

Read Time

INDIANAPOLIS —  Strada Education Network, a nonprofit social impact organization dedicated to helping people achieve their career and life goals through education or training after high school, today announced postsecondary education policy expert Gabriella Gómez will join Strada as its first executive vice president for policy, advocacy, and communications.

Gómez brings decades of experience shaping and advocating for policy changes at the federal level, working in the U.S. government and the nonprofit sector. Gómez most recently served as deputy director for policy and finance, U.S. program policy and communications at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, where she oversaw the foundation’s policy agenda for U.S. education programs.

At Strada, Gómez will assemble and lead public policy development, state and federal advocacy teams, as well as provide leadership for Strada’s strategic communications team. She will collaborate with state and federal policymakers and partners to help craft and advocate for policy solutions for postsecondary education and training that provide equitable pathways to opportunity. She will start her new role at the end of April and be based in Strada’s Washington, D.C., office.

“Throughout her career, Gaby has been dedicated to the same hopeful vision that inspires our work at Strada — bringing to life a postsecondary education and training ecosystem that provides equitable pathways to opportunity,” said Strada President and CEO Stephen Moret. “Her extensive track record leading higher education policy efforts inside and outside government, paired with her reputation as a collaborative colleague as well as a highly effective and caring manager, will make her a strong addition to our executive team. I’m excited that Gaby will join our executive team as we work to help revitalize and expand access to the American Dream of economic opportunity and mobility.”

Strada’s mission closely aligns with Gómez’s path, both personally and professionally. Gómez earned her Bachelor of Arts in political science from Loyola Marymount University as a first-generation college student who received Pell Grant assistance. A fellowship from the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute helped launch her career in federal education policy, first as a staff member for the Senate Education Committee, then in the White House Initiative for Educational Excellence for Hispanic Americans. Gómez also worked as a legislative assistant for U.S. Rep. Ciro Rodriguez of Texas before enrolling in Harvard University’s Graduate School Education where she earned a master’s degree in education policy.

After graduate school, Gómez worked as a governmental affairs leader for the American Federation of Teachers. She then returned to the Hill as a higher education advisor for the chairman of the House Committee for Education and Labor, where she helped lead the effort to reauthorize the Higher Education Act. Gómez also led both the offices of Congressional Affairs and the office of Budget and Policy at the U.S. Department of Education.

At the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gómez’s team developed a policy framework that covered all of the foundation’s education strategies in the U.S., from pre-K through postsecondary education and workforce development, including policies related to education funding and economic mobility. As part of that work, Gómez spearheaded an initiative to simplify the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) as a way to remove barriers to education access and support the success of lower-income students.

“Throughout my career, I’ve worked to ensure that anyone who wants to better themselves and their situation can access the resources they need to be successful, and I’m excited to work alongside a team at Strada that shares that commitment,” Gómez said. “Today’s learners face many barriers. By bringing together the right thinkers and having the right conversations, we can shape policies that break down those barriers and help people find equitable pathways to improve their own lives.”

Gómez’s work has been recognized with the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s Medallion of Excellence for a Distinguished Alumnus, as well as the Loyola Marymount Latino Alumni Association’s Alumni Role Model Award. She also has served on the board of Hispanics in Philanthropy, which helps drive philanthropic resources to strengthen Latino leadership and influence.

About Strada Education Network

Strada Education Network is a national nonprofit dedicated to helping people take advantage of education and training after high school that helps them secure a good job, do meaningful work, contribute to their communities, and lead a fulfilling life. Strada helps students succeed beyond completion of a certificate or degree through its research, charitable grants, and social impact investments, as well as through the work of Strada-supported nonprofit organizations CAEL, Education at Work, InsideTrack, and Roadtrip Nation, which directly serve learners and workers. Learn more at