Press Release

WASHINGTON (September 8, 2015) — The Education Trust is proud to welcome Robyn Hiestand as its Director of Higher Education Policy. Robyn brings a strong personal commitment to equity in education, and she will lead development of the organization’s higher education policy agenda, with a focus on improving access, affordability, and success for low-income students and students of color.

Robyn comes to The Education Trust with vast experience in Higher Education policy, having spent more than eight years working for the U.S. Senate Budget Committee. While there, she specialized in budget, appropriations, and education policy for Sens. Conrad (D-N.D.), Murray (D-Wash.) and Sanders (I-Vt.). She has drafted several key pieces of legislation, including Sen. Sanders’ “College for All” Act and Sen. Murray’s “In-STATE for DREAMERs.” She also took a lead role in drafting and developing the Bipartisan Budget Act (the “Murray-Ryan” budget agreement) to provide sequester relief.

“We are thrilled to have Robyn on our team. Not only is she deeply passionate about supporting underserved students, but she also brings a strong background in shaping higher education policy and legislation for their benefit,” said José Luis Santos, Ed Trust’s vice president of higher education policy and practice. “Robyn’s skills and knowledge will prove extremely valuable as we work to promote policies that close gaps in access and success, and seek ways to make college more affordable.”

Robyn’s career accomplishments are many: She developed several annual budget resolutions, provided scoring guidance to relevant committees and worked directly on the education titles of two reconciliation bills — Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act and the 2007 College Cost Reduction Act. Before her time in the Senate, Robyn worked on higher education issues for tribal colleges, where she managed a comprehensive data collection project. She also staffed the House Interior Appropriations subcommittee as a senior legislative assistant for Congressman Martin Sabo (D-Minn.) immediately after college.

A Midwestern native, Robyn received her bachelor’s degree in political science and economics from Augsburg College and her Master’s in Public Policy from the London School of Economics.