Gail Yen is the California Policy Director at Root & Rebound, a reentry legal service organization that does policy advocacy, public education, and litigation to address the impacts of mass incarceration. In her role, she develops and executes the organization’s policy and legislative agenda. She also analyzes state laws and correctional policies that impact currently and formerly incarcerated people. Prior to R&R, Gail served as the Senior Policy & Research Analyst at California Competes: Higher Education for a Strong Economy, a higher education research, policy, and advocacy organization focused on the intersection of equity and the workforce where she managed the organization’s policy agenda, analyzes state, regional, local, and intergovernmental higher education and workforce policies, and conducted research on issues aligned with the organization’s policy priorities. She also served as an Assembly Fellow in the California State Legislature, where she worked in the office of Assemblymember Richard Gordon to staff legislation, implement policies, and analyze a wide range of issues in child welfare, education, and health.
Gail is a former foster youth who grew up in the Los Angeles County foster care system, and she holds a Master of Education Policy from the University of Washington and a BA in Sociology from Union College.