Alisa Federico Cunningham


Alisa Federico Cunningham is vice president of research and programs at the Institute for Higher Education Policy (IHEP) in Washington, DC. She oversees all of the organization’s research studies, project evaluations, and programmatic work. In addition, Cunningham conducts specific research and manages several projects related to disadvantaged populations around the world. Since joining IHEP in 1997, Cunningham’s work has addressed a broad array of topics, including higher education financing, student financial aid, minority-serving institutions, student persistence and attainment, international higher education policy, and opportunities for student access and success.
Cunningham supervises the various projects of the IHEP research analysts and program managers. These efforts range from research studies and publications on a broad range of issues to a number of multi-year initiatives targeted toward developing the capacity of higher education institutions. She also directly manages several projects, such as the Global Policy Fellows Program, which brings together early career policy analysts who are interested in policies targeted toward disadvantaged students. Working closely with the president and other senior management, Cunningham also oversees the financial and strategic planning of project work and ensures that research and program work is integrated with IHEP’s mission and goals.


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