Based in Sacramento, California, Manny Rodriguez leads work to increase college affordability and equity for Californians, including by expanding, streamlining, and improving the effectiveness of California financial aid.

Prior to joining TICAS, Manny served as the Associate Director of Policy and Government Relations at The Education Trust—West, an organization that advocates for educational justice and the high academic achievement of all California students. Prior to that, Manny was selected as one of eighteen Executive Fellows within the Sacramento based Capitol Fellows Program where he was placed at the Business, Consumer Services, and Housing Agency. Yet his passion for working in the postsecondary space came from his time at Sonoma State University where he served as a pre-admission counselor/ tour guide and a founding peer mentor for the Making Our Space An Inclusive Community (MOSAIC) living-learning residential community which helped low-income students and historically underrepresented students transition from high school to college.

As a first-generation son of Mexican immigrants, Manny (he/him/his) strongly believes in racial equity, educational justice and has a passion for evidence-based advocacy which changes the education system in order to better serve students who shared his lived experiences. Originally from San Marcos, California, Manny holds both a bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Criminal Justice Studies, and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Sonoma State University. He loves playing and watching sports, is a passionate supporter of the San Diego Padres, loves reading anything by Octavia Butler, James Baldwin, or Victor Villaseñor, and an avid podcast listener.