Magdalena Martinez, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor & Director of Education Programs


Dr. Magdalena Martinez is an assistant professor in the department of Public Policy and Leadership, College of Urban Affairs, and Director of Education Programs with The Lincy Institute. Her areas of expertise include education policy, leadership, access and equity for underrepresented student populations and the role of higher education in a diverse society. She regularly provides expert testimony (k-12 and postsecondary) on education policy issues and is involved in numerous efforts to build capacity through education research and policy.

Prior to UNLV, she served as the Assistant Vice Chancellor for Academic and Student Affairs for the Nevada System of Higher Education. In her role she was responsible for strengthening P-16 education partnerships and examining education policy in order to increase access, equity, and success for underrepresented student populations. As Assistant Vice Chancellor she was responsible for the successful development and implementation of statewide college access grants from the U.S. Department of Education and private grants. In addition, she worked closely with the Nevada Department of Education to develop and implement the Nevada statewide GEAR UP grant ($21 million) which serves low-income students. Dr. Martinez’s experience also includes working at the National Forum of Higher Education for the Public Good at the University of Michigan. This initiative focuses on the role of higher education and the public good by examining the intersection of leadership and public policy. Furthermore, she served as a program evaluator for a three-year, W.K. Kellogg Foundation funded, leadership program to prepare individuals for the presidency at Minority Serving Institutions across the country.

Dr. Martinez is a New Leadership Academy Fellow through the National Center for Institutional Diversity at the University of Michigan and an Equity & Policy Fellow through the Ford Foundation, University of Southern California, and Western Interstate Consortium in Higher Education.

Dr. Martinez holds a Ph.D. in Education from the University of Michigan, Master of Education from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Science in Business from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Fields of Expertise

  • Education Policy
  • Education Leadership
  • Access and Equity in Education
  • Postsecondary Education