Kimberly Salazar headshot
Kimberly Salazar
Research Assistant
Income and Benefits Policy Center
At the Urban Institute, I particularly enjoy the collaborative environment and the opportunity to contribute to projects that directly influence policy decisions. My passion for social justice and equity inspires my work, driving me to advocate for policies that support vulnerable populations.

Kimberly Salazar is a research assistant in the Income and Benefits Policy Center at the Urban Institute, where she focuses on supporting access and persistence for parenting students in college, drawing from her personal and academic experiences.

Salazar’s research interests lie in the social safety net, particularly the CalWORKs welfare-to-work programs. She’s passionate about understanding how the legacy of the work-first ideology and push toward vocational education and training affects recipients’ postsecondary education, especially in four-year universities.

Salazar graduated summa cum laude from the University of California, Berkeley, with a bachelor’s degree in sociology. Collaborating with Yu-Ling Chang from the School of Social Welfare, she studied racial equity and CalWORKs reforms during the pandemic, with her senior thesis focusing on challenges at the intersection of CalWORKs and postsecondary education. She became the university’s liaison to the CalWORKs system in Alameda County and received the Patsy Takemoto Mink Education Support Award. In fall 2024, she will pursue a master’s degree in public policy at the University of California, Los Angeles.