Gail Yen

California Policy Director

Oakland, California

Email Gail

As Root and Rebound’s California Policy Director, Gail Yen 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 joining Root and Rebound, Gail served as the Senior Policy and Research Analyst at California Competes: Higher Education for a Strong Economy where she managed the organization’s policy agenda, and analyzed state, regional, local, and intergovernmental higher education and workforce policies. 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. Gail started her policy career 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 education, public safety, and child welfare.

Gail earned a Master’s in Education Policy from the University of Washington and a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Psychology from Union College. She is also the Board Chair of California Youth Connection, a youth-led organization that develops leaders to transform the foster care system through legislative and policy change. In her free time, Gail enjoys running, being outdoors with her dog, and traveling.

Gail Yen

California Policy Director

Oakland, California

Email Gail

As Root and Rebound’s California Policy Director, Gail Yen 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 joining Root and Rebound, Gail served as the Senior Policy and Research Analyst at California Competes: Higher Education for a Strong Economy where she managed the organization’s policy agenda, and analyzed state, regional, local, and intergovernmental higher education and workforce policies. 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. Gail started her policy career 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 education, public safety, and child welfare.

Gail earned a Master’s in Education Policy from the University of Washington and a bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Psychology from Union College. She is also the Board Chair of California Youth Connection, a youth-led organization that develops leaders to transform the foster care system through legislative and policy change. In her free time, Gail enjoys running, being outdoors with her dog, and traveling.

Why do you come to work at Root & Rebound every day?

I have a deeply personal connection to this work. Through my parent’s incarceration and my subsequent placement into foster care, I got to experience firsthand the barriers my family faced from both systems that are often intertwined. This made me realize that no one should have to experience this. As a result, I am dedicated to Root & Rebound’s¬†mission of restoring power and resources to the families and communities most harmed by mass incarcerated so they have the opportunity to thrive.

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