Amber Arellano (MPP '03) is the executive director of The Education Trust-Midwest. She oversees the organization’s direction on Michigan education policy and research, public engagement, external relations and operations. Arellano started her career as a Michigan public high school teacher, after graduating from Michigan State University’s school of education. Later she became a journalist for the Detroit Free Press, where she went on to cover race relations, Detroit education, immigration and other issues. She also reported from California and Mexico. She was later named columnist and editorial board writer for The Detroit News. The National Association of Hispanic Journalists named her Commentator of the Year for what it called her “influential and crusading coverage” of public education on behalf of Michigan’s vulnerable students.
In the early 2000s, dismayed by the industrial Midwest’s challenges in successfully transitioning to a global knowledge economy, Arellano moved to the policy sector to work on issues of poverty and opportunity. Her work led her to serve at the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights and the National Poverty Center and to open the Education Trust’s Michigan division in 2010. She holds a Master of Public Policy from the University of Michigan’s Ford School of Public Policy. As the first person in her family to attend college, she put herself through college through work, scholarships and grants. Today she’s a proud Michigan mom. She serves on the Detroit Regional Chamber Foundation’s board and the Michigan Economic Center’s Investor-Leadership Council.
Sponsored by: The Center for Local, State, and Urban Policy (CLOSUP)