About Us Authors and Staff

Jessica Perez

Jessica Perez

Special Assistant & Project Administrator

As a woman of color and a daughter of immigrants, I have always been passionate about advocating for myself and others with marginalized backgrounds who are too often left behind by our current institutions and government. I have always deeply admired Urban’s core mission to put out honest and data-driven work. After working on justice issues on the county level, I see a lot of areas for improvement and I admire Urban’s work to unpack systems and offer thoughtful research and policy action to improve lives, promote equity, and strengthen communities.


Jessica Perez is currently the special assistant and project administrator in the Research to Action Lab at the Urban Institute, offering operational and project management support to the vice president and chief innovation officer. Before Urban, Perez worked as a justice associate at a nonprofit that supports America’s 3,069 counties, parishes, and bureaus in advancing key best practices and programming at the intersection of local justice and behavioral health. Her background includes local government, justice, behavioral health, and data integration on the county level.

Perez holds a BA in political science with a concentration on race, gender, and politics from American University.

Research Areas

Crime and Justice

Centers & Initiatives

Research to Action Lab