Julie Ajinkya, Ph.D., is the vice president of applied research at the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP). Her research interests include equity in postsecondary education and innovative models that improve degree completion for underserved populations.
Prior to joining IHEP, Ajinkya worked at the Center for American Progress (CAP), where she focused primarily on underserved populations and the impact that demographic change has on a diverse portfolio of policy issues. Her work at CAP culminated in the production of a book, All-In Nation: An America That Works For All, which argues that equity is the best model for economic growth and lays out a federal policy blueprint to close gaps between racial/ethnic groups and meet our future workforce needs.
Ajinkya serves as a visiting professor of government at Cornell University's campus in Washington, DC, where she teaches courses on race, inequality and public policy. She also sits on the Advisory Council for Amherst College’s Loeb Center for Career Exploration and Planning, an initiative that works to articulate the value proposition of a liberal arts postsecondary education to the workforce and civil society.
Ajinkya earned her M.A. and Ph.D. in government from Cornell University, where she also was first exposed to the importance of postsecondary education for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated students through work with Auburn and Cayuga Correctional facilities. Ajinkya also holds a B.A. in political science from Amherst College. In 2019, Diverse Issues in Higher Education named Ajinkya one of the "Top 35 Women in Higher Education."