Meet the folks who make up the YI team! See below for our staff bios, and for a full directory list, please click here.

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    Rory O'Sullivan

    Acting Executive Director

    Rory is the Deputy Director at Young Invincibles where he leads the organization’s program work, integrating its policy, organizing, communications, and regional strategies into effective campaigns. He was part of YI’s founding team and initially led its policy research and advocacy work. Rory is an expert on a variety of issues related to young adults’ economic security including higher education, employment, and consumer information.

    He has testified before Congress for the Senate Banking Committee and served as negotiator for the Department of Education’s 2013 negotiated rulemaking on the gainful employment regulations. He also currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Campaign for College Opportunity and the National Skills Coalition.

    Rory has appeared in the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, NPR, MSNBC, Reuters, Business Week, and the LA Times among others. He graduated from Pomona College in 2006 with a B.A. in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics, and completed a joint J.D./M.P.P. in 2011 at Georgetown University.

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    Aaron Smith

    Senior Strategic Advisor

    As the co-founder and original Executive Director of Young Invincibles (YI) in 2009, Aaron helped grow YI into one of the largest and most impactful youth organizations in the country. Aaron has met repeatedly with top lawmakers and national leaders to discuss critical youth policy issues, has conducted dozens of trainings on youth leadership development, and has launched new campaigns in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services to educate and engage Millennials around the Affordable Care Act. Aaron is also the President and co-founder of YI Advisors.

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    Allie Aguilera , Press Secretary

    Allie Aguilera is Young Invincibles’ Press Secretary, a role in which she works to elevate YI’s mission and the voices of young people around the country. Allie joins YI from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration, where she worked on long term strategic planning and led a team of external communications and intergovernmental affairs professionals as the agency underwent an organizational modernization, two congressional reauthorizations, and various regulatory expansions to transportation safety. Prior to this, Allie worked on intersectional issues surrounding women’s and girls’ economic and social rights, equity in economic and educational opportunity, bridging the digital divide, and more as a policy analyst for New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio. Allie has worked on several successful campaigns and elections, providing operations leadership for Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s 2013 campaign and overseeing operations for Organizing for America in NY, CA, and TX through the 2012 presidential election. Allie began her career supporting national operations at the Democratic National Committee.

    A proud Virginian, Allie is a graduate of the University of Virginia with a B.A. in Political Philosophy, Policy, and Law.

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    Brittany Alexander

    Development Manager

    Brittany Alexander is Young Invincibles’ Development Manager. In this capacity, she, along with the Executive Director, oversees all foundation fundraising undertaken by the organization. Brittany formerly served as Young Invincibles’ Development Coordinator where she maintained a committed focus on prospecting and researching funders to aid in securing support for Young Invincibles’ programs and operations. Previous development experience includes planning fundraising events, writing appeals, and cultivating new individual donors. She received a B.A. in Mass Communications from Delaware State University.

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    Troy Alim

    Midwest Organizing Fellow

    Troy Alim is the Midwest Organizing Fellow in the Midwest regional office. After living in Atlanta, Georgia for four years working in the music industry, Troy returned home to Chicago and dedicated himself to fighting for social justice. He has organized for the last three years with the AIDS Foundation of Chicago and Chicago Votes. He currently serves as the Organizing Co-chair for the Chicago chapter of the Black Youth Project 100. In his free time, Troy enjoys reading, writing, and eating every type of taco known to human kind.

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    Tom Allison

    Deputy Policy & Research Director

    Tom Allison is the Deputy Policy & Research Director at Young Invincibles, responsible for the organization’s research and data analysis, products ranging from major econometric reports to monthly data pulls and fact sheets about young adults in the economy, health care, and education. His specialties include federal education statistics, state higher education budgets, survey design and implementation, focus groups, temporal analyses, and demographic comparison research.

    Tom brings a communications acumen to his work as well, understanding that even the best research will fall short of its goals without a concerted communications strategy. He’s appeared live on MSNBC, and been quoted in the Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, The Atlantic, Vox, Forbes, and others.

    Tom earned his bachelor’s degree from the University of Mary Washington and his Master of Public Policy from the Trachtenberg School of Public Policy at George Washington University.

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    Maggie Jo Buchanan

    Southern Director

    As Southern Director, Maggie oversees all advocacy, research, and organizing work being done by the organization throughout the region. Before joining YI, she was an Associate Director at the Center for American Progress, served as a senior legislative aide to U.S. Congressman Lloyd Doggett, and has held numerous other policy and political positions. She has been published on topics that include Title IX, Medicaid billing practices, and intimate partner violence, and has testified in front of the Texas House and Senate. In addition, her research on health care services in Texas county jails was presented as part of a University of Chicago School of Law report to the United Nations. She has been quoted or had her work featured in publications that include U.S. News & World Report, the Washington Post, Politico, the Guardian, Vox, and Houston Public Radio. Maggie earned her J.D from the University of Texas School of Law and her B.A. from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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    Spencer Dixon

    Partnerships Coordinator

    Spencer is responsible for building strategic partnerships with individuals and organizations who Young Invincibles collaborates with to help empower and foster positive change for young adults. He also supports project execution and implementation for Young Invincibles. After working with YI Advisors and Young Invincibles in 2015, Spencer spent 17 months working on the organizing team for Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign in Iowa, Washington, and Ohio. He is thrilled to be back at the organization as he helps clients connect with, and amplify the voices of, his generation. Spencer is also a Senior Strategist for YI Advisors.

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    Hilary Farrow

    Program Manager

    As Program Manager, Hillary helps manage YI’s programs designed to mobilize young adults around our work on health care, education, and jobs, and engage Millennials on key social impact issues. She supports Young Invincibles' work through project management, and targeted strategy, and messaging development. Prior to joining YI, Hillary interned at Cornerstone Government Affairs and 1-2-1 Strategies and Government Relations where she tracked legislative activity, synthesized research on various policy issues. Hillary also helped develop the Kids Farmer’s Market Program at FOOD Share, Inc. She also currently serves as the Business Development Manager for YI Advisors.

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    Aurora Harris

    Southern Partnerships Manager

    Aurora Harris is the Partnerships Manager for Young Invincibles’ Southern Office, where she acts as the main liaison between grasstops partners and organizing work and strategy—ensuring that young people’s voices and experiences are represented within local and statewide discussions related to policy change and service provision.

    Aurora is an influential leader with a wealth of experience in community outreach and project management. Prior to working at Young Invincibles, Aurora served as Executive Director of the Lesbian Health Initiative (LHI). During her tenure, she formalized collaborative partnerships and increased the diversity of board leadership, volunteers, and clients served while simultaneously solidifying LHI’s sustainability for years to come. Aurora also served as Community Outreach Manager for the Preservation Society of Charleston, where she convened the City’s first coalition of African American preservationist and established the City of Charleston’s Modern Civil Rights Era Historic Marker Trail.

    Aurora is part of New Leaders Council Class of 2017 and she currently sits on the City of Houston’s first ever Mayoral LGBTQ Advisory board. Aurora received her B.A. in English and African-American Studies from the College of Charleston. She has roots in the Gullah Geechee culture of the Southeast and enjoys reading, volunteering, and cooking.

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    Erin Hemlin

    Director of Training and Consumer Education

    Erin Hemlin, Director of Training and Consumer Education, grew up in Sugar Land, Texas just outside of Houston. She has a B.A. in Political Science from St. Edward’s University (‘08), and a M.A. in Political Science with a focus in American Politics and Government from George Mason University (’12).

    Previously, Erin interned for the Congressional Research Service where she contributed to CRS reports in government operations, such as reports on the demographics of Members of Congress, rules and authorities of committees, committee expenditures, and other areas of congressional administration. She later worked as a legislative research fellow for The Sheridan Group, a DC-based advocacy and government relations firm dedicated to social change. At The Sheridan Group, Erin focused on federal education policy, technology-based economic development, poverty, and other domestic social issues.
    In her position as National Training Director, Erin manages the the training and consumer education campaigns for YI. She has managed YI’s Healthy Young America campaign for the past four years, providing hundreds of trainings on how the Affordable Care Act impacts young adults. She also contributes research, analytical, and writing skills to the policy team on public policy questions affecting young adults.

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    Gustavo Herrera

    Western Regional Director

    Gustavo is the Western Regional Director for Young Invincibles, where he is responsible for leading YI’s California offices, including its West Coast expansion. As director, he sets strategic direction and advances YI’s policy priorities on health care, higher education, jobs, and civic engagement for the region.

    Before starting at Young Invincibles, Gustavo was the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of L.A. Plaza de Cultura y Artes (LAPCA), overseeing the day-to-day operation of a county museum, including the oversight of a master plan committee responsible for strategically developing three acres of additional museum campus. From 2010-2012, Gustavo led the Maestro Foundation, a classical music and performance arts foundation, as the Director of Organizational Development. Between 2007-2010, he assessed and recommended business growth strategies in the US marketplace for the global Fortune 500 Company, American Honda Motors, Co.

    Gustavo holds a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from American Jewish University and a dual Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies with an emphasis in socio-politics and economics and Art History from the University of California Santa Barbara. Gustavo served on the Board of Directors of the Create:Fixate Arts Organization (2006-2010). He is a current Strong Workforce Implementation Advisory Board Member for the California Community Colleges, Advisory Board Member for the California Physician’s Alliance and founding Board Member of Silverlake Forward.

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    Jasmine Hicks

    National Field Director

    Jasmine Hicks is the National Field Director at Young Invincibles. She works with students and organizations around the country to make sure young people’s concerns are being heard. Jasmine grew up in Boston, Massachusetts, where she worked for the 3 years as the director of the Young Civic Leaders program at MassVOTE. She organized high school students around civic engagement, and issues of election reform. In 2010, Jasmine was selected to be an Emerging Leader with the Congressional Black Caucus where she interned in the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy. Jasmine is a graduate of Northeastern University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science and a concentration in Policy Administration.

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    Ariana Jones

    Finance and Operations Coordinator

    Ariana is the Finance and Operations Coordinator at Young Invincibles, where she oversees expense processing throughout our regional offices and performs operation duties that help our regional offices run smoothly. Ariana has more than four years of experience in the finance field and joined the organization after two years of working as a financial analyst for PACCAR Financial in Seattle, WA. Ariana is a graduate of Virginia State University and will be pursuing her master at Georgetown University this coming fall. Originally from Seattle, she enjoys boating, hiking, running, shopping, and binge watching TV shows on Netflix.

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    Kum Kang

    Senior Partnerships Director

    Kum is responsible for leading business development and strategy for YI Advisors. She manages key partnerships on behalf of the organization and provides leadership and vision to her team. She brings 15 years of experience in optimizing processes to achieve business objectives. Previously, she was a business development manager and a co-chair of the marketing task force at VOX Global, a bipartisan public affairs firm based in Washington D.C.

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    Kate Londen

    Deputy Digital Director

    Kate oversees all digital communications strategy at Young Invincibles. Kate brings six years of experience in using communications for progressive advocacy. In her previous position, she was the Communications Manager at URGE: Unite for Reproductive & Gender Equity, a national reproductive justice non-profit. Before joining the team at URGE, she worked as a Communications Associate for the global nonprofit, One Economy. Kate is a native of Charlottesville, Virginia and a graduate of the University of Southern California, where she studied documentary filmmaking.

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    Michael Madoff

    Director of Product & Digital Strategy, YI Advisors

    Michael leverages his experience creating and managing digital platforms to help clients develop mobile tools that engage Millennial audiences. At YI Advisors, he is leading our ongoing work on the Here to Career and StreetLight Chicago mobile app projects. Previously, Michael was a consultant at Citrix Public Sector where he managed software implementations and technology strategy for Fortune 500 and government clients. He has a proven track record in Millennial engagement dating back to his time as Communications Director for Georgetown University's student government.

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    Marissa Martin

    Northeast Regional Director

    Marissa has always had a passion for social justice and making larger systemic change to increase access and equity. She earned her Masters in Social Work from Silberman School of Social Work at Hunter College in 2012 focusing on Community Organizing, Planning and Development and was recognized by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW-NYC) as an Emerging Leader in 2012. Before joining Young Invincibles as the Northeast Director, Marissa was the Senior Advisor for Strategic Initiatives at the NYC Public Engagement Unit where she oversaw the Policy, Operations and Data teams. Before that, she was the Director of Policy and Government Relations at ExpandED Schools (formerly TASC), a nonprofit dedicated to closing the learning gap by increasing access to enriched education experiences as well as the Director of Government Affairs for the Coalition for Asian American Children and Families where she led CACF’s New York State and City budget advocacy campaigns and worked to improve equity for Asian Pacific American children and families.

    For over 10 years, Marissa has worked as an adoptee advocate working to strengthen the community and voice of the adoptee community. Marissa served as Assistant Director of Holt Heritage Camp and Co-Director of the Korean Identity Development Camp and served on the board of All Together Now, a support organization for adoptive families providing supportive programming for young adoptees while facilitating conversations with adopted parents. Marissa is also the former president and current advisory board member of Also-Known-As, Inc., a volunteer non-profit organization dedicated to creating innovative educational programs and community building activities for those on their adoption life journey. Additionally, Marisa serves as an Advisory Board member of the Advocacy Institute, a nonprofit that is committed to supporting the legislative advocacy of social justice and movement-building organizations in New York City and State.

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    Kristin McGuire

    Western Director of Partnerships & Organizing

    Kristin grew up in Wentzville, MO and Palmetto, AL. Growing up in very small towns, Kristin realized early on that her voice stood out and often differed from public opinion. This still holds true today.

    Kristin built her career advancing social justice movements. She has worked for various organizations advocating for disenfranchised communities, from paroled young adults to those without access to quality heath care. Kristin has played a large role in shaping and implementing some of the most progressive tobacco policy in Southern California, namely smoke-free housing, parks, and outdoor areas in Compton. Prior to joining YI, Kristin spent the last three years operating her own campaign consulting business in Los Angeles.

    Kristin received her B.S. in Public Administration from CSU Dominguez Hills. When she isn’t trying to change the world, Kristin is a PTA mom, blogger, and member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority Inc. — the best sorority in the world.

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    Aylia Naqvi

    Human Resources & Operations Manager

    Aylia is the Human Resources & Operations Manager at Young Invincibles. She oversees all aspects of human resources by planning, implementing, and evaluating employee relations and human resources policies, programs, and practices, ensuring that YI meets all legal requirements and is in compliance with relevant laws and regulations across all locations.

    Aylia is from Los Angeles, CA, and is an enthusiastic yogi & traveler. She earned her B.S in Mathematics, Psychology, and Political Science from University of Maryland, and an Executive MBA from Robert H. Smith, UMD. She previously worked in the finance industry, where she completed the ACCEL Leadership program. She has over seven years of experience in organization operations and human resources.

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    Christopher Nellum

    Policy and Research Director

    Christopher is the Policy and Research Director at Young Invincibles where he leads the organization's national research agendas and contributes to policy development and strategy. He also serves in this capacity for the Western Regional Office and is located in Oakland, CA. Prior to YI, Chris worked on college campuses in student and academic affairs and most recently served as a senior policy researcher for one of the “big six” higher education associations. He is a proud graduate of public schools and universities, having earned a Ph.D. in higher education policy from the Center for the Study of Higher and Postsecondary Education at the University of Michigan, an M.S. from California State University, Long Beach, and a B.A. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. Chris is a staunch advocate for a more equitable society and committed to closing opportunity gaps.

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    Christina Postolowski

    Rocky Mountain Regional Director

    Christina is YI’s Rocky Mountain Director based in Denver, CO, where she oversees Young Invincibles' young adult leadership, policy advocacy, and organizing work in the region. Previously, Christina was a Policy Manager in YI’s national office in Washington, DC, where she led the organization’s work on health coverage and young parents. Christina has engaged in federal and state policy research and advocacy on issues including federal financial aid reform, health insurance access, and family economic security.

    A native of Colorado, Christina holds a J.D. from Georgetown Law and an A.B. from Princeton University. Prior to law school, Christina worked for the Colorado Divisions of Real Estate and Insurance, where she helped to create and administer regulatory programs to protect consumers. In her free time, Christina likes to explore the great outdoors and perform with community theatres and choirs in the area.

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    Eve Rips

    Director of Regional Strategy

    Eve Rips is the Director of Regional Strategy for Young Invincibles, where she is responsible for leading YI’s regional teams, overseeing approach to regional growth and sustainability, and running multi-state campaigns to advance YI political priorities. She initially joined YI as Midwest Director, where she launched the Chicago-based office and built out YI’s presence in the region. Prior to joining Young Invincibles she worked as a civil rights attorney, focusing on educational equity in the Chicagoland area. Her work has been featured in numerous sources including the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, Politico, NPR, and MarketWatch. She received her JD from the University of Chicago Law School and her BA from Stanford University.

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    Elena Sakopoulos

    Midwest Organizing Manager

    Elena is a Northern California native who moved out to Chicago in 2011. As YI’s Midwest Organizing Manager, she leads outreach and youth engagement initiatives across Chicagoland and Illinois.

    While a political science and human rights student at the University of Chicago, Elena developed a passion for community organizing and youth civic engagement. Before arriving at Young Invincibles, she interned at Chicago Votes, where she registered young Chicagoans to vote and engaged them on state and local policy issues. She now chairs Chicago Votes’ alumni engagement committee. Elena also worked as a field organizer on a city council race in Chicago, and interned with Democracy for America’s electoral campaigns department.

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    Sarah Schultz

    Sarah Schultz is Young Invincibles’ Communications Director. She joined the organization after spending several years working at a New York City-based public relations agency. During her time there, Sarah worked on developing and implementing strategic communications campaigns for clients across a number of industries with a special focus on nonprofit organizations in the health care space. At Young Invincibles, she oversees media relations and press inquiries.

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    Adriana Scott

    Engagement and Storybank Coordinator

    Adriana joined Young Invincibles as the Engagement and Storybook Coordinator in 2016. In this position, she works directly with Millennials to elevate their stories through helping them write op-eds and blogs to drive policy change, and identifies other media opportunities for young people in YI’s storytelling program. Outside YI, she volunteers with community health organizations and engages in direct service work with the District’s most under-resourced communities. Before her current role, she interned with U.S. News & World Report in their Opinion department. Adriana is a graduate of the University of Maryland with a B.A. in Journalism.

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    Colin Seeberger

    Strategic Campaigns Director

    Colin Seeberger is Young Invincibles’ Strategic Campaigns Director and has led advocacy campaigns around health care, higher education, and the 2016 elections. Colin formerly served as Young Invincibles’ Press Secretary where he oversaw the daily execution of the organization’s media relations work. He routinely serves as a spokesperson for the organization and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Politico, Marketwatch, Yahoo, and more. Colin came to Young Invincibles from BerlinRosen Public Affairs’ National Public Affairs practice, where he worked with clients dedicated to social and economic justice. He studied Political Management with a concentration in Strategic Communications at George Washington University’s Graduate School of Political Management and graduated summa cum laude from Pace University’s Pforzheimer Honors College in New York City. He is a native of Dallas, Texas, the home of his beloved Dallas Cowboys.

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    Reid Setzer

    Government Affairs Director

    Reid is Young Invincibles’ Government Affairs Director, and is primarily responsible for maintaining relationships with Congressional offices, strategic partners, the Administration, and other national stakeholders. He has also been featured speaking about YI’s health care, young parents, higher education and youth financial security policy objectives in the New York Times, Forbes, Marketwatch, Yahoo, Inside Higher Ed, and other publications. Reid has also co-authored policy reports for YI, in addition to conducting policy research and helping to direct strategy for YI’s advocacy campaigns.
    Before working at YI, Reid did legal research and writing at the Center for American Progress and interned for the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. He studied history and political science at the University of Pittsburgh and graduated magna cum laude in 2010, and graduated from Georgetown University Law Center with his Juris Doctorate in 2013. Reid is originally from Northern New Jersey, and enjoys reading historical non-fiction and going to baseball games.

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    Erin Steva

    Midwest Director

    Erin Steva is the Midwest Director of Young Invincibles, based in Chicago. At YI, Erin oversees the office’s efforts to expand access to higher education, jobs, and health care, including serving as a member of the Apprenticeships Committee of the Illinois Workforce Innovation Board. Prior to this position, Erin led research, advocacy, and organizing efforts at the local, state, and national level on public health and consumer-protection issues. Successful initiatives include expanding San Diego’s funding for public transportation by $3 billion, passing a ballot measure to fund high speed rail in California, and improving community health protections in the City of Los Angeles’ zoning policies. Erin has been quoted in the Los Angeles Times, San Diego Tribune, and several NPR affiliates. She graduated Summa Cum Laude from University of Minnesota and holds a Masters in Public Policy from UCLA.

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    Andrew Tarquinio

    Development Coordinator

    Andrew is the Development Coordinator at YI. In this position, he facilitates Annual Fund and Individual Giving campaigns, also assisting in grant writing and reporting processes. Prior to working at Young Invincibles, Andrew interned in the Development Office of Washington National Opera at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. There, he worked with the Major Gifts team on WNO’s Ring Cycle campaign.

    A Maryland native, Andrew attended St. Mary’s College of Maryland earning a Bachelor’s in Economics, in 2016

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    Clarissa Unger

    Director of Partnerships

    Clarissa Unger is the Civic Engagement Director for Young Invincibles. In this capacity, she leads the Students Learn Students Vote Coalition, which promotes nonpartisan civic engagement on college campuses. She also serves as the Director of Partnerships for the organization’s consulting arm, YI Advisors, where she leads strategy on how clients can best reach, engage and support young adults. Clarissa has a background in advocacy, communications, fundraising, and political campaigns, and has worked on strategic campaigns both nationally and internationally. Prior to joining YI, Clarissa served as the Development Coordinator for the Robert. J. Dole Institute of Politics at the University of Kansas where she helped to promote civic engagement on campus. She holds a Masters in Public Administration from the University.

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    Tobin Van Ostern

    Advisor for Strategic Partnerships

    As the Advisor for Strategic Partnerships, Tobin manages external partnerships that help advance the organization’s mission to expand opportunities for young Americans. Tobin brings his significant expertise in online and offline young adult organizing, policy solutions, and government relations to Young Invincibles. Tobin previously was the Deputy Director of Campus Progress, a project of the Center for American Progress. There he focused on overseeing the development of policy recommendations that help young adults and the coordination of the government affairs work that leads to their enactment. Tobin is also the co-founder of YI Advisors.