I have had the great pleasure of serving in a variety of positions where my job was to influence policy change and improve people’s lives. I first got involved in policy advocacy over a decade ago, working with state legislatures to understand and respond urgently to what research was telling us about adolescent sexual abuse and gender-based violence. Most recently I worked with members of Congress on federal legislative solutions to sex trafficking victimization and law enforcement responses to gender-based violence.
My approach to policy advocacy is to lead with facts and evidence, and to be clear about what actually works in addressing difficult issues involving human rights and public safety. I do this through multiple strategies:
- directly educating elected officials and other policymakers;
- lobbying for effective legislation;
- developing targeted, high-quality content to guide policymaking; and
- designing and strengthening coalition-based approaches to legislative advocacy.
I believe strongly in combining short- and long-term policy goals into a comprehensive policy change agenda, and using that agenda to embolden and empower advocacy networks to set about changing the world. Effective policy change is not only driven by facts and evidence, but also by a robust community of advocates who share a vision and sense of purpose. I enjoy being part of making that happen, particularly in advancing the rights of those who have been victimized, disempowered, or treated as “less than.”
Examples of my work experience in policy advocacy come from serving a variety of clients as an independent consultant, as Executive Director of youthSpark, as Director of Policy and Research for Hunt Alternatives, and in my current role at Arnold Ventures.