Rebecca Vallas is a senior fellow at The Century Foundation, where her work focuses on achieving economic justice. In 2022, she launched TCF’s Disability Economic Justice team and cofounded the Disability Economic Justice Collaborative, which brings together more than forty leading organizations across the disability rights and justice and economic policy sectors to work collaboratively to bring a disability lens across all economic policymaking in the United States.
Vallas joined TCF after seven years at the Center for American Progress, during which she helped to build and lead CAP’s Poverty to Prosperity Program in a range of roles, including as the program’s first policy director and managing director, and later as vice president. During her time at CAP, she spearheaded the institution’s efforts to protect the safety net during the Trump era, and originated CAP’s Disability Justice Initiative—the first disability policy project at a U.S. think tank—as well as the organization’s criminal justice reform work.
Much of Vallas’s national and state policy and advocacy work flows from her years as a legal aid lawyer. In partnership with her legal aid alma mater, she co-developed the “clean slate” model of automated, automatic criminal record-clearing that is now law in ten states, and in 2019, she co-founded the Clean Slate Initiative, a national organization supporting state efforts to adopt clean slate policies. Forever a legal aid lawyer at heart, Vallas spent several years representing low-income individuals and families at Community Legal Services in Philadelphia, where she began her work as a Skadden Fellow, and was the inaugural recipient of the National Legal Aid and Defender Association’s New Leaders in Advocacy Award.
Vallas has authored dozens of policy reports on antipoverty policy, income security, disability policy, access to justice, and criminal records/reentry policy; testified before Congress and state legislatures on numerous occasions; and been cited and quoted in media outlets across the country. She is also the creator and host of Off-Kilter, a nationally distributed podcast and radio show about the fight for economic liberation and the shifts in collective consciousness it will take to set us all free.
Vallas serves as secretary of the Board of Directors of the National Academy of Social Insurance and was a member of the academy’s 2020–21 Economic Security Study Panel. Vallas was twice named to Forbes magazine’s “30 Under 30” for law and policy, and later to Emory University’s “40 Under 40.” She received her law degree from the University of Virginia and graduated summa cum laude from Emory University, where she received a bachelor’s degree in psychology. Based in Charlottesville, Virginia, after many years in Washington, D.C., she’s the proud mother of three rescue kitties, and in her spare time works as a practicing astrologer who’s passionate about astrology as a tool for consciousness and radical self-care.