Betsy Brand has served as the Executive Director of AYPF since 2004, and she served as Co-Director of the organization since 1998. Betsy has spent her career working on education, workforce, and youth policy and specializes in comprehensive approaches to helping young people be prepared for today’s careers, lifelong learning, and civic engagement.Betsy’s education policy career started when she served as a Legislative Associate for the U.S. House Committee on Education and Labor from 1977 to 1983. She subsequently served with Senator Dan Quayle as a Professional Staff Member on the U.S. Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee from 1983 to 1989, where she handled all federal education and training legislation. In 1989, Betsy was appointed Assistant Secretary for Vocational and Adult Education at the U.S. Department of Education, under President George H.W. Bush, where she worked for four years. From 1993 to 1998, Betsy operated her own consulting firm, Workforce Futures, Inc., which focused on policy and best practices affecting education and workforce preparation. Betsy has a B.A. from Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA and serves on various boards, including the Latin American Youth Center and Diploma Plus.
Jennifer Brown Lerner
Jennifer Brown Lerner joined American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) in 2005. Currently, Jennifer serves as a Deputy Director, managing the organization’s work on a wide range of issues that ensure all students graduate ready to succeed in college and careers. At AYPF, she co-authored a compendium on best practices in secondary-post secondary learning options entitled The College Ladder: Linking Secondary and Postsecondary Education for Success for All.Prior to joining AYPF, Jennifer worked as a classroom teacher and communications officer for a number of schools in the Boston area. Additionally, she was active in the creation of a Summerbridge (now Breakthrough Collaborative) site in Atlanta, Georgia. Jennifer received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and her MA from Teachers College, Columbia University. She also participated in the Education Policy Fellow Program at the Institute for Educational Leadership in 2005-06.
Carinne Deeds joined AYPF in June 2015. Her role as Policy Associate involves the development of learning events and products, including forums, study tours, webinars, discussion groups, and publications, as well as the dissemination of policy and practice guidance to multiple audiences.Before joining AYPF, Carinne served as the Bryna and Henry David Fellow at the Ray Marshall Center for the Study of Human Resources, using research to inform programs and policies related to college and career readiness in Central Texas. She has also developed and implemented educational programming for various nonprofits and afterschool programs in the U.S. and West Africa. Prior to her work with nonprofits, Carinne was a kindergarten English teacher in Bangkok, Thailand and an ESL instructor in Austin, Texas. Carinne holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Studies from The University of Texas at Austin and a Master of Public Affairs degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at UT Austin.
Loretta Goodwin, Ph.D.
Loretta Goodwin, Senior Director, joined the American Youth Policy Forum in 2007. Her focus is on high school reform, and she oversees field trips and speaker forums on youth policy issues. Ms. Goodwin is experienced in middle and high school reform, experiential education, and international education.In South Africa Ms. Goodwin began her education career as a middle and high school teacher. At The Washington Center for Internships and Academic Seminars in Washington, DC she served as the program manager for international programs, as well as the faculty coordinator. From 2000 – 2004, she worked as the national co-director of Turning Points, a comprehensive middle school reform initiative. In this capacity, and during her work at the Center for Comprehensive School Reform and Improvement, she provided technical assistance, professional development and resources to teachers and principals. Ms. Goodwin holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Cape Town, master’s degrees from Wesleyan University and the University of Washington, in History and Political Science, and a PhD from Princeton.
Policy Research Assistant
Jesse joined AYPF in January 2017. Jesse holds a Bachelor’s degree in American Studies, and a certificate in Community Action and Public Policy from Connecticut College. Prior to AYPF, Jesse worked as a junior associate in the enrollment office of DC Public Schools, as part of their Urban Education Leaders Internship Program, and as an intern in the Housing Unit at Greater Boston Legal Services.
While studying abroad in South Africa, Jesse researched the experiences of racial identity among young adults in Cape Town and the impact of school on identity formation. Upon returning to the U.S., Jesse completed a thesis on the role of community-based organizations and organizing in addressing the barriers to and opportunities for equitable and quality education.
Events and Operations Associatesshipman@aypf.org
Shannon Shipman joined AYPF in June of 2014. In her role as Events and Operations Associate, she is responsible for coordinating programmatic logistics along with all Capitol Hill forums, discussion groups, study tours and special events.Prior to joining AYPF, Shannon worked on behalf of the Virginia State Bar, District of Columbia Bar, and the Muscular Dystrophy Association managing and coordinating events, outreach initiatives, and fundraising campaigns. In these roles, she traveled throughout the state of Virginia helping to coordinate the VSB’s President’s Campaign, assisted in the coordination of 200+ annual legal events here in the District, and managed the implementation of a large community-based walk event aimed to bring awareness and further progress the fight against muscular dystrophy. Shannon holds a Bachelor of Social Work from Virginia Commonwealth University, and is in pursuit of becoming a Certified Meeting Planner.
Georgia Tan joined American Youth Policy Forum (AYPF) in January of 2017. As the resident Database and Website Administer, she organizes and maintains all collected data to ensure effective marketing outreach. Currently based in New York City, Georgia has a background in technical project management, and holds a BA from New York University's Gallatin School of Individualized Study.
Jenna Tomasello joined AYPF in June 2015. Her role as Policy Associate involves the development of learning events and products, including forums, study tours, webinars, discussion groups, and publications, and the dissemination of policy and practice guidance to multiple audiences.Jenna has a background in philosophy and legal studies, and holds a Master’s degree in Educational Policy from the University of Rochester Warner Graduate School of Education and Human Development.
Director of Finance and Administrationcwilson@aypf.org
Christine Wilson joined the American Youth Policy Forum in 2002, and is the point of contact for all accounting and human resource matters. Christine holds an Associate’s degree in Paralegal studies, and is actively pursuing a B.A. degree in English.Christine first joined the American Youth Policy Forum as an intern. She was then hired as a Program Assistant, providing assistance in both program and administrative areas of the organization. In conjunction with her studies, Christine left AYPF to pursue a career in the legal field and began working as a Legal Assistant in the IRS Chief Counsel Office. Christine rejoined AYPF in 2006.
With your financial support and commitment, AYPF will continue to educate and inform policymakers about strategies that work to help young people, particularly vulnerable youth, succeed in the modern workplace, become lifelong learners, and be engaged citizens.