Future of Florida Summit
Affordable Education Panel

Affordable Education Panel

Dr. Robert Ainsworth

Robert Ainsworth is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Florida. He received his BA from Williams College and his PhD from Columbia University. He conducts research in the economics of education and in political economy. His current research examines how students make schooling decisions, the conditions under which school competition enhances performance, and the measurement and effects of gerrymandering. He teaches courses in public economics and econometrics.

Dr. Larry Walker

Previously Dr. Walker served as a lecturer at Loyola University Maryland. In addition, he held a faculty appointment at Howard University. He has nearly a decade of experience working in rural, urban, and suburban school districts. Dr. Walker’s research has three threads including 1) examining the impact leadership and policy decisions have on education and society; 2) investigating the experiences of Black students throughout the education pipeline (PreK-PhD) and 3) analyzing school district, preservice program, and school-based efforts to recruit and retain minoritized teachers. In addition, Dr. Walker has appeared on regional and national television networks discussing his research and written several Op Eds for the Orlando Sentinel among other platforms. Dr. Walker has co-edited two books, authored/coauthored several peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters. Further, he served as the Legislative Director for former Congressman Major R. Owens.

Jared Nordlund, based in Orlando, Florida, is the Florida State Director for the Civic Engagement team at UnidosUS, the largest national Latino civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States.  His work focuses on increasing the level of Hispanic participation in the American political process by turning citizens into voters and voters into community advocates. 

Mr. Nordlund works with fellow Civic Engagement team members, Affiliates, and community allies to execute local voter registration drives, get-out-the-vote voter contact campaigns, issue-based activities, and community organizing.  In Florida, his responsibility is to raise the visibility of UnidosUS’s position on immigration, healthcare, housing, and education as well as educate and activate Hispanics to vote on Election Day.  He also represents UnidosUS before policymakers, industry representatives, community leaders, and other local stakeholders.  He coordinates roundtables and community forums, designs focus groups and surveys, oversees local canvasses, analyzes data, and documents stories that give the Latino perspective on issues impacting the community.