Leire Salazar is the Lead Scientist of the JRC - Centre for Advanced Studies (CAS) project "Social Classes in the Digital Age" (DIGCLASS), since April 2021. DIGCLASS aims at updating existing scholarhip on social classes in contemporary societies given the challenges of technological transformations (digitalisation, automation, platformisation) and assessing the impact of socioeconomic position on life chances, in particular health, education and attitudes towards inequality and redistribution.
A sociologist by training, Leire has a multidisciplinary training in several areas within the social sciences. She completed a Masters Degree in Advanced Social Sciences at the Juan March Institute and a PhD in Sociology at the University of Oxford (Nuffield College). Before joining the European Commission, she was an Associate Professor of Sociology at UNED and a Coordinator of the Social Sciences Area at the Spanish State Agency for Research (Ministry of Science, Innovation and Universities).
She conducts theoretically-driven empirical research on social stratification, including educational and health inequalities in early childhood, intergenerational inequalities and gender inequalities. She is more generally interested in deriving implications of her research for public (social) policy.
Leire's research has been published in journals such as Socio-Economic Review, American Journal of Socioloy, Social Science and Medicine or European Sociological Review. She has led several competitive research projects and taken part as a researcher in many other projects and research contracts. She was also regularly engaged in outreach activities: She has written op-eds in written press, has been a scientific advisor to the Spanish Foresight Unit on inequality, has offered technical advice for the implementation of the European Child Guarantee in Spain, and has been a member of the Advisory Board of "la Caixa" Foundation's Social Observatory.