Diane Auer Jones is a senior fellow in the Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population at the Urban Institute, where her work focuses on expanding postsecondary education and training opportunities, including registered apprenticeship programs. Jones is a recognized expert on higher education access and accountability, federal student aid programs and policies and innovation in educational delivery. She was assistant secretary for postsecondary education at the US Department of Education and held positions on the faculty or in senior administration at the Community College of Baltimore County, Princeton University, and Career Education Corporation.
A molecular biologist by training, Jones taught biology for over a decade before transitioning to a career in science and education policy. Her science policy work included senior roles at the National Science Foundation; the Research Subcommittee of the US House of Representatives Committee on Science, Space, and Technology; and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy.
Jones has published on the future of university research, improving STEM education, and the power of apprenticeship in improving postsecondary completion rates. She began her career as a nursing assistant through a youth apprenticeship–style cooperative education program. She holds a bachelor’s degree in biology, a master’s degree in applied molecular biology, and completed doctoral coursework in cellular and molecular biology.
Centers & InitiativesCenter on Labor, Human Services, and Population
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