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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


Dr. Angel B. Pérez is CEO of the National Association for College Admission Counseling (NACAC). In this role, he represents more than 25,000 admission and counseling professionals worldwide committed to postsecondary access and success. He is the primary voice of the association to government, media, and global partners. Pérez is recognized as a national thought leader and is a sought-after speaker on issues of educational equity, access, and success in American education.


Throughout the course of his career, Dr. 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 was the first in his family to graduate from college, and went on to become a leader in higher education.  Recognized nationally on issues of equity and access in American education, Dr. Pérez 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, he strives to build an educational ecosystem that better represents today’s society.


Prior to joining NACAC in July of 2020, Dr. Pérez 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 where his work was described as transformative.  Since his arrival at NACAC, he has steered the organization through significant change as it strives to evolve to meet the needs of today's college admission profession.  His leadership approach has been featured in several outlets, including the American Society for Association Executives.


Dr. Pérez's passion for teaching led him to serve as a faculty member at Trinity’s Educational Studies Department, UCLA’s College Counseling Certification Program, and the Harvard Graduate School of Education. In addition, he was a visiting international faculty member at Rikkyo University in Japan. He has served as a Trustee at the Berkshire School (MA), United World College in Costa Rica, Hartford Youth Scholars (CT), Tuition Exchange (DC), and was elected the youngest Chair of Diversity in the history of Skidmore College’s alumni association.  He currently serves as a steering committee member for the Washington Higher Education Secretariat.


Dr. Pérez’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 is a frequent contributor and commentator in media outlets, including the Washington Post, NPR, Forbes, The Atlantic, 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.

About Angel
Thought Leadership

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.



Navigating the College Search: NACAC's Expert Insights

Hispanic Outlook on Education Magazine

Employers Benefited from Affirmative Action. It’s Time to Step Up.

The New York Times

One CEO's Story of Executive Burnout

The Center for Association Leadership

New Leaders Face a Daunting Foe: Themselves

Inside Higher Ed


The Ripple Effect of Optimism in Higher Education

AwareNow: Issue 30


NACAC Chief Executive Announces a New Mission and Vision Statement

Higher Dive

The Perverse Consequences of the NCAA Ruling

The Atlantic

Inequity in College Admissions is a Threat to US Prosperity

The Hill

A New CEOs Strategy for Building the Plane While Flying It

American Society of Association Executives

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


Self-care for counselors, leaders, and professionals in helping roles

Why Colleges Are Leaving The U.S. News Rankings

College Admissions and Race, Student Debt Ruling, Actors Union Negotiations

The Truth About Burnout and Finding Joy Again

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



Four things students need to know after the Supreme Court ruled against affirmative action

NBC News

Can Colleges Be Racially Diverse Without Affirmative Action? Experience Suggests No

Wall Street Journal

There’s Only One College Rankings List That Matters

New York Times

PBS News interviews Angel B.Pérez

PBS News


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 Engagements

Speaking Events

National Summit on Equal Opportunity in Higher Education
U.S. Department of Education
July 26, 2023

Austin Convention Center


The Landscape of College Admission in Higher Education

Susquehanna University

November 1, 2021

The Future of College Admissions

The Atlantic Education Summit

October 26, 2021


State of the Association

National Association for College Admission Counseling Conference

Seattle, WA

September 25, 2021


A Conversation with Journalist Soledad O’Brien
National Association for College Admission Counseling Conference
Seattle, WA

September 24, 2021

A World Without Tests
ASU-GSV Conference, San Diego, CA
August 10, 2021

Effects of the Supreme Court Ruling on the NCAA
Brian Lehrer Show (WNYC), NYC
July 23, 2021

Industry Leaders
State Department: Education USA, Washington DC
July 21, 2021

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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