Gail Yen

As Policy and Research Analyst, Gail Yen is responsible for developing and implementing the organization’s legislative and advocacy agenda. She also analyzes state-level higher education policies and conducts research on issues aligned with the organization’s policy priorities. Prior to joining California Competes, Ms. Yen served as an Assembly Fellow in the California State Legislature, where she worked in the office of Assemblyman Richard Gordon to staff legislation, implement policies, and analyze a wide range of issues in education, health, and child welfare. She also served as the Health Policy Associate for Children Now, where she was responsible for conducting bill analysis and analyzing health budget and policy proposals. Ms. Yen earned a Master’s in Education Policy from University of Washington and a bachelor's degree in Sociology and Psychology from Union College. 

What motivates you to advance the mission at California Competes?

As a former foster youth, I saw education as my way out of the child welfare system. I was fortunate to have my sister and a few K-12 teachers that served as mentors to ensure my educational success. However, I realize that this is not the case for everyone, especially foster youth. As a result, I am dedicated to ensuring that all underserved youth have the educational opportunity they deserve to become successful adults.