As Vice President, Tanya I. Garcia, Ph.D. is responsible for advancing TICAS’s state policy agenda, overseeing TICAS’s research and communications, and strengthening TICAS’s relationships with key partners and policymakers as an external ambassador for the organization.

Before TICAS, Tanya served as Deputy Secretary and Commissioner for Postsecondary and Higher Education at the Pennsylvania Department of Education, where she led efforts to create student-centered policies, practices, and funding and worked with partners across the Commonwealth to build learners’ sense of belonging on college campuses. As Pennsylvania’s state higher education executive in a landscape of over 350 postsecondary institutions, she advocated extensively for today’s students, supported institutional leaders on how to better serve them, and shaped higher education and workforce policies as the agency’s representative on multiple boards.

Prior to Pennsylvania, Tanya was the first staff member with postsecondary policy expertise to join the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. As Associate Director of Postsecondary Policy Research and Associate Research Professor, she significantly enhanced the Center’s ability to infuse an equity perspective in research conceptualization, design, and production and led research projects on a variety of topics including the building of learning and earning ecosystems, examining the value of postsecondary certificates and associate’s degrees, and supporting state leaders in their effort to close equity gaps in Colorado.

Tanya’s 25 years in the postsecondary policy space includes stints at The George Washington University, American University, New Mexico Higher Education Department, State Higher Education Executive Officers Association, and Lumina Foundation. She’s especially proud of having led the development of the statewide dual credit program while in New Mexico.

A consummate student-centered advocate and first-generation student, Tanya earned a B.A. in Philosophy and a B.S. in Biology from Florida International University, an M.A. in Higher Education Administration from The George Washington University, and a Ph.D. in Public Administration from American University.