Iliana G. Perez is a lecturer in the Allies of Dreamers Certificate program at Claremont Graduate University’s School of Educational Studies. Perez also serves as the director of research & entrepreneurship at Immigrants Rising, where she oversees the research and evaluation agenda of the organization as well as the entrepreneurship programming. She previously worked as a research analyst with the Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative (SLEI) at the Stanford Graduate School of Business. Perez serves on the board of directors for the Campaign for College Opportunity and is a member of the San Jose City College Hispanic Serving Institution Advisory Board.
Perez’s research focuses on immigrant entrepreneurs, the occupational and educational attainment of immigrant students, and economics of immigration. Her dissertation analyzed the determinants to pursue entrepreneurship, characteristics, and the economic returns of Latinx millennial undocumented entrepreneurs. Perez has shared her story and presented her work to various audiences across the country via keynotes and research presentations at professional conferences, organizations, and college campuses. Her personal story and her work have been featured in several media outlets including Los Angeles Times, Business Insider, CNN, CNNE, The Huffington Post, Univision, La Opinion, Radio Bilingue, and various other journals, blogs, and newspapers around the world.
Perez immigrated to the U.S. from Mexico at the age of eight alongside her mother, father, and younger brother. She grew up in the California Central Valley and navigated the educational system as an undocumented student for 18 years until she became a DACA recipient in 2013.
Co-authored with N. Jodaitis and V. Garcia. “Catalyzing Change for Undocumented Students at Post-Secondary Institutions in California.” Journal for College Access, (Forthcoming).
Co-authored with G. Montiel and J. Valenzuela. “The Emergence of UndocuPhDs: Undocumented Students Creating and Documenting the Journey through Doctoral Education.” Border-Lines: Journal of the Latino Research Center, (Forthcoming).
Co-authored with M. Orozco. “SLEI Research and Findings.” In Advancing U.S. Latino entrepreneurship: A new national economic imperative, edited by M. Orozco, et al. West Lafayette: Purdue University Press, 2020.
Co-authored with M. Pisani. “Latino business and commerce: A contemporary view.” In Advancing U.S. Latino entrepreneurship: A new national economic imperative, edited by M. Orozco, et al. West Lafayette: Purdue University Press, 2020.
Co-authored with C. Kramer, et al. “Latino-Owned businesses: Shining a light on national trends.” Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative, and Interise, (2018).
Co-authored with J. Valenzuela, et al. “Undocumented Students at the Community College: Creating Institutional Capacity.” New Directions for Community Colleges 172, (2015): 87-96.