Awilda Rodriguez

Research Fellow

Research Areas:

Awilda Rodriguez is a research fellow at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), where she is part of AEI’s Center on Higher Education Reform.

Rodriguez joined AEI after completing a doctorate in higher education at the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate School of Education. In 2009–10, as a researcher for the National Center for Public Policy and Higher Education, she was part of a team — based at the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Research on Higher Education — which studied five states to identify factors that account for higher education performance.

Rodriguez has studied how to overcome access issues for traditionally underrepresented students in higher education. Before beginning her doctorate program at Penn, she worked as an analyst for the New York City Department of Education and in the education nonprofit sector.

Before getting her doctorate degree, Rodriguez obtained a master’s degree in education administration, planning, and social policy from Harvard University’s Graduate School of Education. She also has a bachelor’s of science and engineering degree in electrical engineering from Princeton University.


  • Intern, College Board, 2011–12
  • Quality and Reporting Analyst, New York City Department of Education, 2008–09
  • Director of Admission and Financial Aid, Wight Foundation, 2006–08
  • Talent Office, Leadership Enterprise for a Diverse America, 2004–06


Ph.D., Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania
Ed.M., administration, planning, and social policy, Harvard University
B.S.E., electrical engineering, Princeton University