Executive Director, UNM Center for Social Policy
Dr. Gabriel Sanchez is a Professor of Political Science at the University of New Mexico and also serves as the Executive Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Center for Health Policy and Co-Director of the Institute of Policy, Evaluation and Applied Research (IPEAR) at the University of New Mexico. Sanchez was formerly the Director of Research, and now Principal at Latino Decisions, the nation’s leading survey firm focused on the Latino electorate.
Dr. Sanchez is one of the leading national experts on Latinos and health policy. Sanchez is an expert on politics in the Southwest having directed many research projects and polls for Latino Decisions in New Mexico, Colorado and Arizona and he has been invited to give talks and presentations at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute, LULAC, AFL-CIO, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC), and often serves as an expert policy advisor to the New Mexico State Legislature. Dr. Sanchez has been the lead organizer for several large conferences focused on health policy, including the highly successful 2013 Congressional Tri-Caucus Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities Summit. Sanchez is also a Community Leadership Network Fellow for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
Sanchez received his Ph.D in Political Science from the University of Arizona. His research explores the relationship between racial/ethnic identity and political engagement, Latino health policy, and minority legislative behavior. Sanchez has published more than forty scholarly research articles, chapters and books that examine minority public opinion, electoral behavior and racial and ethnic politics more generally in the United States. He is the author of the recent book Latinos and the 2012 Election: The New Face of the American Voter, and is currently working on the second edition of this book that will focus on the 2016 election. Sanchez is also co-author of Hispanics and the U.S. Political System, one of the most popular Latino Politics textbooks in colleges today. To compliment to his research on minority voting behavior, Dr. Sanchez has conducted applied research on voting rights. With long-time co-author Dr. Matt Barreto (UCLA), Dr. Sanchez has written several expert witness reports utilized in voter ID cases across the country. Most recently Barreto and Sanchez teamed up again to provide an expert report and testify in Veasey v. Perry in a challenge to the Texas voter ID law, and a Federal Court struck down the Texas ID law as unconstitutional, in part basing her decision on the evidence presented by Barreto and Sanchez.
Sanchez has been the lead principal investigator on several large-scale surveys, including the Latino Decisions National Poll on Health Care Reform, the Collaborative Multi-racial Post-election Study, and the recent National Latino Immigration and Health Survey. A leading expert on Latino and New Mexico politics, he regularly provides political commentary to several state, national, and international media outlets including the New York Times, Los Angeles Times, and the Economist. Sanchez is also overseeing polls in multiple Congressional districts and a consultant for Latino outreach for the DCCC.