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Joel Alvarado has more than 20 years of professional experience in the public, non-profit, and higher education sectors specializing in public policy, strategic planning, project management, communications, lobbying, economic development, external relations, community engagement, and higher education leadership. Currently, he is executive vice president for external affairs with Ohio River South, one of the leading government relations firm in the Southeast.

Throughout his career, Joel has worked in federal, state, and local government, at national civil rights institutions such as the Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund and the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (MALDEF), and for statewide organizations like the New Georgia Project and the Georgia Campaign for Adolescent Power and Potential (G-CAPP). He also served for five years as director of community outreach and engagement for Georgia Piedmont Technical College, a unit of the Technical College System of Georgia.

His work has allowed him to advocate for improved adolescent health, restoration of voting rights for former felons, and immigrant rights, while also supporting executive leaders in various economic and community development projects, building community trust, and securing resources for various public sector initiatives. Joel is also a veteran lobbyist at the Georgia State Capitol having represented DeKalb County, MALDEF, G-CAPP, and most recently, Gwinnett Board of Commissioners.

Joel earned a B.A. in History at Morehouse College and an M.P.A. in Public Policy at Clark Atlanta University. He is a doctoral candidate at the University of Alabama pursuing an Ed.D. in Higher Education Administration. His research interests include first generation students of color, community colleges, institutional culture and climate, and social capital.

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