Nate Johnson, PhD – Principal

Nate Johnson consults on higher education policy, affordability, finance, and student success issues. He has worked in postsecondary policy, planning and institutional research at the national, state, and institutional levels. He served for five years as executive director of planning and analysis for the State University System of Florida in the office of the chancellor. During that time, he facilitated the first statewide strategic plan for the Board of Governors after it was created in the Florida Constitution in 2003. He has also served as associate director of institutional research at the University of Florida, and as a policy analyst in Florida’s nationally respected Office of Articulation, where he helped develop policies related to inter-sector transfer, high school graduation standards, and college admissions.

Nate combines rigorous quantitative analysis and detailed understanding of higher education data with the ability to communicate clearly to a variety of technical and nontechnical audiences. He has consulted on projects on time-to-degree, financial aid, college finance, and accountability for clients including HCM Strategists, Lumina and Gates Foundations, the Delta Cost Project and Complete College America, as well as individual states and higher education institutions. He has served on a variety panels and advisory committees. Johnson grew up in Oregon and earned his bachelor’s degree from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington and his Ph.D. in English literature from Cornell University.



Takeshi Yanagiura, MA – Director of Research

Takeshi is an expert higher education policy analyst with many years of experience in a wide variety of programming, data manipulation, and statistical analyses, including quasi-experimental techniques. As director for research Takeshi is responsible for helping institutional, state, and national clients develop sustainable, research-based strategies to serve more students, increase their rates of success, and manage costs.

He is well attuned to policy issues and can express complex ideas effectively in a practical context at national, state, and institutional levels. Most recently, Takeshi developed the institutional research office for the new community college of the University of the District of Columbia and contributed to the improved capacity of analysis and reporting in the college. Prior to that he served as Director of Research for the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, where he was instrumental in the development of the research base for the state’s outcomes-based funding formula, master plan for higher education, and state scholarship reforms. He has also worked for the State Higher Education Executive Officers, where he compiled the State Higher Education Finance study. He has spoken and consulted on higher education data and research issues both nationally and internationally. He has a master’s degree in Higher Education from the University of Minnesota and a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Soka University, Japan.