Liz GuillenOf Counsel

Issue(s): School Finance, School Accountability, College & Career Readiness, Teacher Quality, English Language Learners.

“Working side by side with our grassroots community partners is one of the most satisfying ways to use my legal and policy training and experience. I love Public Advocates for empowering me to do what I love.”

Liz Guillen

Liz Guillen, Of Counsel, joined Public Advocates in 2002. She has extensive experience advocating for the education rights of traditionally disenfranchised students, including undocumented immigrant students, in California’s K-12 public schools and in higher education. Liz focuses her policy advocacy on improving “opportunities to learn” across the California, collaborating closely with a statewide coalition of community and grassroots organizations representing low-income and immigrant communities of color.

Liz is very close to retirement after 35 years in education policy and law. She came to Public Advocates from the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund, where she worked as staff attorney and then legislative counsel. She is from New Mexico, the Land of Enchantment, and invites you to visit her there if you are in Northern New Mexico.


Liz is a graduate of the University of Denver College of Law. She obtained her B.A. in history from Metropolitan State College in Denver.


  • 2015 Honorary Service Award, Third District PTA
  • 2012 Windcall Institute Residency Awardee
  • 2011 Parent Leadership Action Network (PLAN) Ally Award
  • 2003 Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Social Justice Fellow
  • 1994 California State Bar Legal Services Award (for litigation challenging Proposition 187 on behalf of immigrant students)
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Kelsey Hunkins