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Joel Vargas

Vice President

Jobs for the Future (JFF)


Joel Vargas is a vice president of programs at JFF. He oversees programs focused on improving learning systems and outcomes, advancing the application of research and analytics, and inclusive regional economic development.


Joel has also advanced state policies and local practices that promote improved high school and postsecondary outcomes for underserved students. He has helped policymakers and intermediary organizations develop state and federal policies that incorporate college and career experiences into high school.


Since joining JFF in 2002, Joel has designed and implemented a research and state policy agenda for implementing early college designs; created policy frameworks, tools, and model legislation; written and edited white papers, books, research reports, and national publications; provided technical assistance to state task forces and policy working groups; served on national advisory groups; and organized national policy conferences.


Before joining JFF, Joel directed, initiated, and studied middle school and high school programs designed to help students from underrepresented populations get into and through a postsecondary education. He also has been a teacher, an editor, and a research assistant for the Civil Rights Project at Harvard University.


Joel is the President of the board of EdSource, a multimedia source of news for education in California.

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