Maritza Perez




Maritza Perez is the Senior Policy Analyst for Criminal Justice Reform at the Center for American Progress (CAP) in Washington, DC. She analyzes and advises federal legislation, and works alongside stakeholders, to improve outcomes for justice-involved individuals and repair the criminal legal system.

Prior to joining CAP, Maritza was a Legislative Staff Attorney at the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) in Washington, DC. She started her legal career at MALDEF as a Soros Justice Fellow, advocating for policies to end mass incarceration and the disproportionate representation of Latinos in the criminal legal system. Her portfolio at MALDEF expanded to include employment law, immigration policy, education rights, and judicial nominations.

Maritza earned her J.D. at the University of California, Berkeley, School of Law (Boalt Hall), where she received the highest distinction for her pro bono work in the areas of criminal justice reform, immigrant rights, and education access for disadvantaged students. Before attending law school, Maritza joined Teach For America and was a fourth grade teacher in New Orleans. She received her B.A., magna cum laude, from the University of Nevada, Reno. As an undergraduate, she participated in the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI) Internship Program and worked in the Office of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid in Washington, DC.

Maritza has frequently been recognized for her leadership and service. In 2014, she was named to the Huffington Post’s “40 Under 40: Latinos in American Politics” list and in 2018, she was a finalist of WIN’s Young Women of Achievement Awards for Service Beyond Measure.

The proud daughter of Mexican immigrants, Maritza is the first in her family to receive a higher education and earn a professional degree. She is originally from Elko, Nevada.


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