HLA Staff, Julie Peller

Julie Peller

Executive Director


Julie Peller is a seasoned professional and recognized leader in federal postsecondary education policy. With a deep background in federal budgeting and professional management, she is known for her expertise in driving positive change within the higher education landscape, and was most recently named as one of the 500 most influential people shaping policy by the Washingtonian Magazine. Julie’s unwavering passion lies in ensuring policies support a postsecondary system that empowers all students to succeed, regardless of age, income, or background.

Currently serving as the executive director of Higher Learning Advocates, Julie brings valuable insights and strategic direction to advance the organization’s mission. She is a sought-after speaker, addressing prestigious forums on student attainment, federal policy, and student financial aid. She has appeared on many podcasts and her writing and commentary has been featured by NPR, The Chronicle of Higher Education, Inside Higher Ed, and The Hill, among others.

Throughout her career, Julie has held influential roles, including being the Lumina Foundation’s first director of federal policy, where she shaped the foundation’s federal policy agenda. She has also made significant legislative contributions, playing a key role in transformative legislation such as the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act and the Higher Education Opportunity Act. 

Julie’s educational background includes a master’s degree in public policy from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree in political science and public policy from The George Washington University. She currently resides in Maryland with her husband and two young sons, enjoying her pastimes of baking and spending quality time outdoors. With her notable achievements and dedication to empowering students, Julie continues to drive meaningful change in the field of postsecondary education.

To stay updated on Julie’s work and insights, you can follow her on Twitter at @jrpeller.