Carrie Welton leads TICAS’ efforts to align antipoverty and higher education programs to close equity gaps and improve success for systemically marginalized students. She advises on and advocates for policy and system changes that prioritize educational attainment over low-wage work to improve the economic security of individuals, maximize federal and state investments and strengthen our nation’s future workforce.

Carrie’s approach is informed by her experiences as a low-income, first-generation student parent who struggled to complete college. She has channeled the challenges she faced into a commitment to reducing barriers with an explicit focus on students of color, parenting, first-generation, and immigrant students. Carrie served as an expert on public benefits programs and student basic needs to the Biden-Harris administration’s transition team, developing federal and state legislation, and state efforts to align higher education and public benefits programs. She is also a prominent voice on the harm perpetuated by “work first” narratives and policies in public programs.

Carrie previously served as the first Director of Policy and Advocacy at the Hope Center for College, Community, and Justice, where she led the organization’s federal and state advocacy efforts. Carrie began her work on public benefits at the Center for Law & Social Policy, where she engaged in federal advocacy and state technical assistance resulting in better support for students. Her prior work experience includes the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the Kellogg Company, and the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) of Michigan, furthering residents’ civil liberties and civil rights. Carrie has a bachelor’s degree in Public Law from Western Michigan University and a Master of Public Administration degree from the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy at the University of Michigan.