By Jeremy Bogaisky, Christopher Denhart, Derek Draplin, and Avik Roy.
Forbes’ 2018 list of the 30 Under 30 in Law & Policy come from the left, right, and center. They work in President Trump’s White House, and for the Democratic resistance. They are the rising stars who will impact millions of Americans for years to come.
To arrive on this list, candidates were culled from among law schools, professional organizations, the upper echelons of politics and law, and the top ranks of the most promising startups in the field—as well as from a pool of hundreds of online nominations.
The final list was determined by our roster of judges: Ivan Fong, a senior vice president of legal affairs at 3M and former general counsel at the Department of Homeland Security under President Obama; Mike Needham, CEO of Heritage Action for America, a highly influential conservative grassroots organization; Harvard’s Laurence Tribe, one of the most important progressive scholars on constitutional law; and Timothy Hwang, the cofounder of FiscalNote, and a member of the Law & Policy 30 Under 30 Class of 2016.
The conservative all-stars on our list include Jeet Guram, who serves as the top policy advisor to the head of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the most important federal health care agency. Mary Elizabeth Taylor is responsible for shepherding all of President Trump’s nominations through the Senate confirmation process. And as Republicans in Congress work their way through tax reform, Lauren Aronson will play a key role in striving to build public support for their efforts.
Influential progressives in this year’s class include Alexander Chen, cofounder of the National Trans Bar Association, who works on litigation affecting the rights of transgender children. Victoria Herrmann, president of the Arctic Institute, conducts policy research on the environmental, economic, and national security consequences of climate change.
Several members of this year’s Law & Policy list straddle the intersection of technology and policy. Allison Drutchas, a Yale Law Grad, is helping General Motors shape regulations around driverless cars. Harvard undergrad Rohan Pavuluri co-founded Upsolve, a TurboTax-like tool that helps low-income Americans navigate the confusing process of filing for bankruptcy. Lisa Conn leads Facebook’s civic leadership team, and previously managed the MIT Media Lab’s Electome Project, which used machine learning to analyze tweets related to the U.S. election in order to understand public opinion. Alvand Salehi, working for both Presidents Obama and Trump, helped establish Code.gov, an open source repository of the government’s publicly sharable source code.
Others are rising stars in the world of public policy journalism, such as Jason Willick, whose writing at The American Interest focused on accommodating diverse viewpoints within liberal institutions. Willick has recently joined The Wall Street Journal as an assistant editorial features editor, where he will play a major role on the Journal’s influential op-ed page.
Perhaps none of our list members is making as ambitious an attempt to experiment with social policy as Michael Tubbs, the 27-year-old mayor of Stockton, California. To bring down the city’s high violent crime rate, Tubbs is working to gain backing to replicate a program pioneered in the Bay Area that pays monthly stipends to young men determined to be likely to engage in gun violence to stay out of trouble, as well as provide mentoring, internships and travel opportunities.
“In a city of 315,000 people, it’s less than 100 guys who commit 70% to 80% of our violent crime, meaning less than 100 people control the narrative and the image of our city,” says Tubbs. “As a community we have to do something about it.”
Tubbs is also planning to initiate another experiment next year of an idea long discussed by policy wonks: a universal basic income. With a $1 million grant, Tubbs aims to provide $500 a month to a handful of low-income Stockton families to cover basic expenses, with no strings attached.
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More Info: www.forbes.com
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