Angel B Perez

Angel B. Pérez

“Education is the most powerful weapon you can use to change the world.”

--Nelson Mandela

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Photo Credit: Event Photography of North America Corporation


For over two decades, Dr. Angel B Pérez has worked to realize his belief that diversity and academic excellence go hand-in-hand, and that every young person who aspires to higher education should have the opportunity to achieve. His work echoes his own story. Growing up poor in Puerto Rico and the South Bronx, he went on to graduate from, and lead, some of America’s most prestigious educational institutions. A recognized thought-leader on issues of equity and access in American education, Angel is a tireless champion for underrepresented communities and a creative advocate for reform. Named by a Forbes article in 2019 as the most influential voice in college admissions, Angel strives to build an educational ecosystem that better represents today’s America.


In his current role as Chief Executive Officer of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC), Angel is the key advocate and ambassador for 15,000 admissions and counseling professionals committed to helping young people achieve their goals through postsecondary education access worldwide.  Angel works with the NACAC staff, board, and membership to expand access to higher education through policy, advocacy, convening, education, and training, and is the primary voice of the association to government, media, and global partners.


Prior to joining NACAC in July 2020, Angel served in secondary and higher education leadership positions across America, most recently, as Vice President for Enrollment and Student Success at Trinity College in Connecticut.  His transformative leadership and program reforms resulted in the most diverse classes ever, with more students of color, first-generation, low-income, and international students, as well as surges in academic quality, yield, campus culture, and retention.


Angel’s passion for teaching led him to serve as a faculty member at Trinity’s Educational Studies Department and UCLA’s College Counseling Certification Program. In addition, he was a visiting international faculty member at Rikkyo University in Japan. He has served as a Trustee at the Berkshire School, United World College in Costa Rica, Hartford Youth Scholars, Tuition Exchange, and was elected the youngest Chair of Diversity in the history of Skidmore College’s alumni association.


Angel’s expertise has been sought by key policy influencers. In 2016, the Governor of Connecticut appointed him to the New England Board of Higher Education, and he was chosen by the Gates Foundation and NASFAA to serve on Forward50, a group of higher education leaders presenting solutions to Congress. He also served as a Fellow at the Bowen Institute for Higher Education Policy.  In 2019, the New York Times Magazine profiled his own story in a cover feature, and he is a frequent contributor and commentator in media outlets, including the Washington Post, NPR, CBS Evening News, and the Chronicle of Higher Education.


He holds a B.S. from Skidmore College, an M.A. from Columbia University, a PhD from Claremont Graduate University, and a Teaching Certification in Higher Education Pedagogy from the Derek Bok Center for Teaching and Learning at Harvard University.


Thought Leadership

Dr. Angel B. Pérez is frequently called upon by academic and media outlets to lend his voice on issues of higher education, college access, and success. Below you will find a brief selection of his articles, interviews and quotes.



The Perverse Consequences of the NCAA Ruling

The Atlantic

Inequity in College Admissions is a Threat to US Prosperity

The Hill

What's At Stake for College Admissions In This Election?


4 Steps to Improving College Access

Education Dive

Is the SAT Really Necessary to Get Into College?

Miami Herald

What Is a Chief Enrollment Officer?

Inside Higher Ed

Four Keys to Staying Employed in the Future

Hartford Courant

How to Make Our Institutions More Accessible

Diverse: Issues In Higher Education

Reexamining Our Approach to College Access

The New England Journal of Higher Education


It’s not just about jobs. Colleges must help students find their passions

The Washington Post


Race and Class on Campus

The New England Journal of Higher Education


Heading to College? Let’s Make Sure You Graduate

The Huffington Post: College


The ‘Best and The Brightest’ Aren’t Always Obvious

The Chronicle of Higher Education


Becoming an Admissions Dean

Inside Higher Ed

Want to Get Into College? Learn To Fail

Education Week


College Admissions’ Wrenching Ins and Outs

The Los Angeles Times


Supreme Court Ruling On Student-Athlete Compensation Could Lead To Further Inequity​

How'd You Get The Job?

Get Schooled by Reeves and Ford

The Admissions Leadership Podcast

How I Got Into College



Inequity in College Admissions is a Threat to US Prosperity

The Hill

Nightly News with Lester Holt

NBC News

2019 College Admission Influencers



Is Your Child Struggling During the First Year of College?

WTNH News 8

What College Admissions Officers Really Want

The New York Times

One on One with Admissions Leadership

The Admissions Leadership Podcast

Why Does College Cost So Much

WNPR Radio Interview


New Study Questions Value of College Entrance Exams

CBS Evening News Interview


Surprising Hartford Students with a Full Scholarship to Trinity College

FOX 61


Amid Funding Crunch, CT Colleges Look to Diversify Revenue Streams

Hartford Business Journal Interview

Photo Credit: Maureen Grabowski. Dr. Pérez with students in his Design Thinking course at Trinity College


Speaking Events

Student Success for a New Generation

National Partnership for Educational Access Conference - Boston, MA

April 17, 2020


Anticipating Student Demographic Shifts

Association of Governing Boards - Washington DC

April 7, 2020

Bending the Arc of Human Potential

ASU & Global Silicon Valley Summit - San Diego, CA

April 1, 2020

The Future of Education and Human Capital

Arizona State University - Phoenix, AZ

January 14, 2020

The Journey to Higher Education

Cambridge School of Westin - Boston, MA

January 6, 2020

Hack the Gates: A Conversation with Paul Tough

National Education Association - Washington, DC

November 8, 2019

Social Mobility Through Education: A Conversation with Paul Tough

Trinity College - Hartford, CT

November 5, 2019

Cultivating Student Access and Success for a New Generation

Reach Higher Conference, Bridgewater State University - Bridgewater, MA

August 19, 2019

American Higher Education: An Industry & Nation at a Crossroads

Higher Education Consultants Association - Warwick, RI

June 19, 2019

The Future of Affirmative Action

Yale University Leadership Conference - New Haven, CT

April 5, 2019


The Future of Work

United World College, Singapore

March 18, 2019


The Challenges Facing Private Colleges

Inside Higher Ed Leadership Series - Washington DC

November 15, 2018


The University in Modern Society

Global Liberal Arts Program of Rikkyo University - Tokyo, Japan

August 2018

Designing Student Success for a New Generation

Penn State University - Lemont Furnace, PA

June 7, 2018

Liberal Arts: Education for a Global Future

Office of Education USA/Fulbright - Kathmandu, Nepal

April 4, 2018

Photo Credit: The New York Times. Speaking about affirmative action in higher education at The New York Times.



Contact Angel

To contact Dr. Pérez regarding inquiries or speaking requests, please use the form below.  We will respond shortly.

"All of my years working with students from all over the globe have taught me that talent is universal, but opportunity is not.  Education and political leaders must ensure that all students are given opportunities to succeed.  This isn't a social justice issue, it's an issue of international prosperity.  Any time a nation leaves some of its citizens behind, we all lose." 


(Quote from Pérez Keynote Speech at the Consortium on High Achievement and Success)

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