The University of New Mexico is increasing its research footprint. This week the nationally renowned Brookings Institution announced the appointment of the third class of David M. Rubenstein Fellows. Among the 10 appointments is Gabriel Sanchez, UNM Political Science professor and director of the UNM Center for Social Policy. 

Gabriel Sanchez
Gabriel Sanchez

The two-year fellowships are awarded to early- and mid-career scholars who will be placed across five research programs at the Brookings Institution to study the most important local, national, and global policy issues of our time. Sanchez will focus on Governance Studies, while others will work on economics, global economy and development, metropolitan policy, and foreign policy.

As director of the UNM Center for Social Policy, Sanchez has played a vital role in assessing how the COVID-19 pandemic has impacted minorities, particularly the Latino and Native American communities. In addition, his research has aided state, local and national leaders in creating effective messaging around the COVID-19 vaccine and informing policymakers about the causes of vaccine hesitancy in different ethnic communities.

Sanchez is a founding member of the UNM Native American Budget and Policy Institute and formerly served as a non-Resident Senior Fellow in Governance Studies at the Brookings Institution. He is also the Vice President of Research for BSPResearch and leading expert on Latino and New Mexico politics and policy.

He says this most recent research endeavor will shift his attention back to his roots.

“I am very excited to be joining the Brookings team as a Rubenstein Fellow which will allow me to expand my professional network and the impact of my work on social inequalities,” Sanchez said. “I plan to utilize this opportunity to inform policy decisions in the areas of immigration policy, health care policy, and voting rights, all policy areas that have become highly salient nationally and will remain so during my two-year tenure in the program.”

The Rubenstein Fellowship program, originally announced in 2017, is supported by a generous gift from Brookings Trustee David M. Rubenstein, co-founder and co-chairman of The Carlyle Group, and is part of Brookings’s commitment to advancing diversity in its scholarly community.

“From the way in which these phenomenal leaders have expanded our perspectives and insights to the tremendous depth and ingenuity of their individual scholarship, one would be hard pressed to find a more impactful program at Brookings,” said Brookings President John R. Allen, on the announcement website. “We have been made immeasurably better due to the presence of these fellows and especially as the country begins to emerge from over a year of hardship and challenges, I cannot wait to welcome our new cohort to our halls – virtually or otherwise – in the weeks ahead.”

The program gives scholars the invaluable gift of time and flexibility to think deeply, connect intentionally, and produce meaningful work that makes a difference. Their diverse backgrounds and experiences contribute dynamic new dimensions to the Brookings community and nurture a pipeline of policy talent that reflects America and the world.