After years of award-winning work as a journalist and investigative reporter for The Boston Globe and other publications, Marcella Bombardieri took a bold left turn in 2016 and joined the Center for American Progress (CAP) as a policy analyst. But after years of newswriting on the subject of higher education, Bombardieri made a smooth transition to a progressive think tank where her focus would be on higher ed policy.


As associate director of postsecondary education at CAP, Bombardieri has spent the bulk of her time examining the operations of community colleges and other public colleges and universities. Poverty among college students is worsening, and it's one of the reasons that Bombardieri and her colleagues are aiming to help make all U.S secondary schools more affordable. At the same time, she continues to write for publications such as the Globe and the Atlantic, articulating arguments from the policy perspective, and relying heavily on her well-developed skills as a storyteller and scribe.


During our conversation, Bombardieri talked about the arc of her career as a journalist who transitioned to the policy side (2:30); a Texas community college with an innovative program for addressing student poverty (8:00); the challenge of a role at CAP where she plays a bifurcated role as writer and policy expert (15:30); CAP's Beyond Tuition affordability proposal (20:30); and the college admissions bribery scandal (33:00).