Originally from Lima, Peru, Velasco completed a masters degree in Public Administration, with a concentration in Survey Methodology, from the University of Illinois in 2009. While pursuing his degree, he worked as a research assistant for the Survey Lab at the University of Chicago and as a bilingual interviewer for the National Opinion Research Center. Previous jobs in Peru include conducting quantitative and qualitative research in rural areas of Peru and working for the Peruvian Ministry of Foreign Relations as a human development assistant.