Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield Joins Higher Learning Advocates

HLA Managing Director of Policy and Research Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield

WASHINGTON – Veteran higher education policy expert Amy Ellen Duke-Benfield joins Higher Learning Advocates (HLA) this month in the newly-created role of managing director of policy and research. In addition to leading the organization’s strategy and portfolio of policy writing, she will be leading a new initiative to further federal public benefits access for college students. 

Most recently, Duke-Benfield was senior director of policy and advocacy at the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice at Temple University. Prior to that, she was a senior fellow at the National Skills Coalition. She served as senior policy analyst at Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP) for a notable 15-year tenure. 

Julie Peller, HLA executive director, said, “Amy Ellen is a smart and dedicated expert committed to the success of today’s students and one of the nation’s leading experts in ensuring low-income students have the financial support they need. Her career and entire portfolio of work is a demonstration of how policy change can better serve today’s students. We’re thrilled to have her join our team and accelerate our work at this critical time.”

Duke-Benfield said, “What matters most in my work is increasing access and success for low-income students and students of color. Whether that means increasing financial aid or making benefits more accessible, I’m joining HLA to continue to highlight the ways we can drive equity in higher education.”

About Higher Learning Advocates
Higher Learning Advocates (HLA) is the leading bipartisan nonprofit organization that advocates for today’s students and their postsecondary success through policy and systems change. Established in 2017, HLA advocates for policies and support programs that ensure opportunity and promote inclusive pathways for all learners to succeed through an equitable system of higher learning, employment, and economic mobility.