"Iliana Perez serves as the Director of Research and Entrepreneurship with Immigrants Rising, a San Francisco-based non-profit organization that empowers undocumented young people to achieve educational and career goals through personal, institutional and policy transformation. Iliana launched and leads the entrepreneurship programming, which encourages all immigrants, regardless of status, to create their own opportunities, earn a living, and thrive through entrepreneurship. Iliana also oversees the research and evaluation agenda of the organization.
Iliana was born in Hidalgo, Mexico and immigrated alongside her mother, father and younger brother to the U.S. at the age of eight. Iliana 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. Iliana holds a B.A. in Mathematics from Fresno State, a M.A. in Economics from Claremont Graduate University and recently completed a Ph.D. in Education Policy, Evaluation and Reform, also from Claremont Graduate University. Her research focuses on immigrant entrepreneurs, the occupational and educational attainment of immigrant students, the effects of deportation on the lives of young adults, and economics of immigration."