The Century Foundation, a leading progressive think tank, today announced a number of new hires in the higher education field, increasing its education team from 10 to 15 members. The announcement comes on the heels of major victories for TCF’s work, with education policy proposals recommended by TCF being advanced by public officials in New York and California.

With the new hires, TCF is further expanding its work to rein in predatory for-profit colleges, increase funding to community colleges, hold the Trump administration accountable, and make higher education more accessible by advancing affordability proposals at the state and federal level. The team of experts is led by Robert Shireman, senior fellow who was recently named TCF’s Director of Higher Education Excellence, Richard Kahlenberg, senior fellow who was named TCF’s Director of K-12 Equity, and Jen Mishory, senior fellow and senior policy advisor.

The five new experts are (full bios are available online):

  • Stephanie Michelle Hall, fellow in Washington, D.C. office, focusing on higher education accountability and quality
  • Peter Granville, senior policy associate in Washington, D.C. office, focusing on state-level policies to improve college access and affordability
  • Anthony Walsh, policy associate in Washington, D.C. office, focusing on policies to strengthen accountability and affordability
  • Taela Dudley, policy associate in New York City office, focusing on issues related to consumer protections and for-profit college regulations
  • Kevin Miller, non-resident research fellow based in Washington, D.C., providing research and data analysis support to the team.

“We’re thrilled to welcome our five new education scholars, whose combined experience and expertise will greatly strengthen our higher education team,” said Mark Zuckerman, president of The Century Foundation. “Equal opportunity to quality education is a bedrock American principle, but one that is increasingly out of reach for too many students. That’s why TCF is doubling down on our education work, because restoring the promise of higher education is essential to everything we do — from tackling inequality, to improving access to health care, to expanding employment opportunities.”

In 2018, TCF’s higher education team helped lead the fight against President Trump and Secretary DeVos’s assault on students. In February, TCF sued the federal government over the reinstatement of college accreditor ACICS, a process that forced the Education Department to release internal documents showing the accreditor’s continued non-compliance with federal regulations. TCF experts were also on the frontlines defending borrower defense and gainful employment regulations, key student protections that the Trump administration has thus far been unsuccessful in their attempts to roll back.

In addition, TCF’s research and policy work on increasingly popular “free” and “debt-free” college programs has helped shape proposals at the state and federal level. Last year, the state of California commissioned TCF to make recommendations for reforming the state’s financial aid system and increasing college affordability, efforts that were reflected in Gov. Gavin Newsom’s 2019 budget proposals to cover more non-tuition costs, in actions by the California Student Aid Commission, and in commitments to even broader reforms from key legislative leaders. And this week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed new regulations to rein in for-profit colleges, following a year-plus campaign by TCF and advocates to advance state-level student protections in Albany.