Cofounder and former Executive Director of Young Invincibles Jen Mishory and Skadden Fellow and attorney Yan Cao have joined The Century Foundation, a progressive public policy think tank with offices in New York and Washington, D.C..

Jen Mishory will serve as a senior fellow, with a focus on issues related to the workforce and higher education. Mishory will also join TCF’s leadership team as a senior policy advisor to support strategic planning efforts with the goal of maximizing the impact of the organization’s policy research.

“Jen Mishory’s record is unmatched when it comes to driving policy change to help improve the lives of young people across America. In this extraordinary political and policy moment, Jen’s expertise, skills, and tenacity will be invaluable in forging new policy paths for leaders at all levels committed to fairness at work and equity in higher education,” said TCF President Mark Zuckerman.

Yan Cao joins TCF as a higher education fellow, with a focus on expanding opportunity, reducing inequality, and ensuring fair outcomes for students. Yan Cao joins TCF’s team of researchers at the forefront of the fight to protect student’s rights on everything from federal aid and student debt to for-profit college accountability.

“Yan Cao has served on the front lines representing students defrauded by for-profit colleges, and as an attorney for low-income families with predatory student loan debt. She will bring invaluable student perspectives and legal expertise to TCF’s higher education policy work,” said Zuckerman.

Thus far in 2017, TCF has grown its research team by four with the addition of new fellows Jeanne Lambrew and Ellen Montz, both former Obama White House advisors, and now with Jen Mishory and Yan Cao. TCF has also expanded its board of trustees with the appointment of former Congressman George Miller and former Secretary of Education John B. King Jr..

“There has never been a more important time for progressive public policy thinkers to come together and work to defend the rights of all Americans and set a vision for a stronger, fairer America. In 2017, TCF has risen to the challenge and invested more than ever in supporting the best and brightest policy thinkers on work, the economy, health care, education, civil liberties and foreign affairs,” said Zuckerman.

Jen Mishory, Senior Fellow and Senior Policy Advisor:

Jen Mishory is a senior fellow at The Century Foundation, working on issues related to workforce and higher education, and a senior policy advisor.

Prior to joining TCF, Jen co-founded and served as the Executive Director of Young Invincibles, which has grown to become the largest advocacy organization in the country representing young Americans.

While at YI, Jen published research on and developed policy proposals designed to address the growing economic challenges facing today’s young people, particularly those related to higher education, health care, and workforce development. She led initiatives focused on solutions to a range of those challenges, from improving financial aid and other supports for low-income students to the implementation of the Affordable Care Act. She testified before Congress on those issues on numerous occasions and has been frequently cited in media outlets across the country. She has also served as an expert on financial challenges that face consumers for several entities, including as a member of the Consumer Advisory Board of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, as a consumer advocacy negotiator for the Department of Education’s negotiated rulemaking around student loan repayment, and as a consumer representative for the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Jen received a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science from UCLA and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center, where she now teaches as an adjunct professor of law.

Yan Cao, Fellow:

Yan Cao is a fellow at The Century Foundation where she works on higher education policy with a focus on expanding opportunity, reducing inequality, and ensuring fair outcomes for students.

Yan Cao worked previously as a Skadden Fellow at the Project on Predatory Student Lending at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School, representing students defrauded by for-profit colleges, and as an attorney at South Brooklyn Legal Services, representing low-income families with predatory student loan debt. In addition to serving thousands of students in individual and collective actions, Yan has co-chaired the Student Loan Working Group at New Yorkers for Responsible Lending (NYRL), and led trainings on the legal rights of student loan borrowers. Yan has researched issues at the intersection of racial justice, economic mobility, and fair lending in work with diverse organizations, including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the ACLU and NYCLU, and the New York City Commission on Human Rights.

A former law clerk to Judge J. Paul Oetken of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York and Judge Raymond J. Lohier Jr. of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, Yan received her J.D. from NYU Law School, where she was a Root-Tilden-Kern Public Interest Law Scholar and Editor-in-Chief of the NYU Law Review. Yan is also a graduate of Stanford University and Simon’s Rock College of Bard. She is a product of public education systems in Arizona, Ohio, and Florida, and a beneficiary of many programs providing financial aid in higher education.