Kalena E. Cortes holds the Verlin and Howard Kruse ’52 Founders Professorship at Texas A&M University’s Bush School of Government and Public Service. She earned a PhD in economics from the University of California at Berkeley. She is the inaugural Director of the Bush School’s Program in Education Policy. She is a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) in the Economics of Education program and a Research Fellow at the Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA). She has also been a visiting scholar at both Stanford and Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education, Annenberg Institute at Brown University, Princeton University, and the National Bureau of Economic Research. Her research focuses on issues of equity and access, in particular, identifying educational policies that help disadvantaged students at the PreK-12 and postsecondary levels. Her research has been published in The Review of Economics and Statistics, The Journal of Human Resources, Economics of Education Review, Education Finance and Policy, Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, Science, and the National Tax Journal.