Wesley R. Whistle

Wesley R. Whistle

Wesley Whistle is a higher education and policy professional based in Washington, DC. Currently, Wesley works for New America as the Policy Director for the Higher Education Program. Previously, Wesley worked on Capitol Hill advising a U.S. Senator on education issues, from early education to higher education. Wesley also worked in federal higher education policy and in various roles at colleges and universities.

Additionally, Wesley is a PhD student at the University of Kentucky College of Education studying education policy, primarily focusing on higher education. He is broadly interested in the economics and politics of education. His interests in higher education include student debt and affordability, stratification and inequity, quality and accountability, access, finance, and more. Wesley’s work is informed by his academic training, work in institutions, and lived experience as a first-generation college graduate and former Pell Grant recipient.

Policy Experience

Wesley has worked at think tanks in Washington, DC on higher education issues, including quality, accountability, affordability, and access. He also served as the principal education advisor to U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-PA), a member of the HELP Committee.

Outside of education, he has experience in other policy areas. At the federal level, Wesley has worked on LGBTQ+ issues, immigration, arts and humanities, and science and research funding. He worked in state government on a variety of issues including health care, social policy, and economic and workforce development.

Higher Ed Administration

Wesley also has experience in institutions of higher education. Most recently, he served his alma mater as the Director of Institutional Effectiveness and Research. In this role, he led data analysis and reporting, assessment and program evaluation, and benchmarking and institutional data reporting, including federal and state governmental agency requirements like IPEDS and NSLDS. He held other roles in institutional research and assessment at the University of Louisville and the University of Kentucky.

Read Wesley’s Work

Wesley and his work have been featured in the New York Times, The Atlantic, Fox News, The Hill, Inside Higher Ed, The Chronicle of Higher Education, and more.

Selected Works:

Short Memories Lead to Long-Term Consequences: Lessons from Three Decades of Short-Term Programs in Higher Education Policy

Millennials and Student Loans: Rising Debts and Disparities

Ripple Effect: The Cost of the College Dropout Rate

Biden Education Department Approves Student Loan Cancellation For More Than 1,800 Defrauded Borrowers

Here’s A No-Brainer: Students Should Know What Their College Costs Will Be

Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer Announces Free College For Frontline Coronavirus Workers

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