Leadership at the Institute for Youth in Policy is comprised of a select group of young individuals with a proven passion for a brighter future. Members of Senior Leadership are either founding members of the organization or carefully selected and elected to their position by the Board to fulfill vacancy. Leadership works to lead and drive the organization as a whole, making decisions that affect the whole organization.
Paul Kramer, a High School Junior currently serves the Institute for Youth in Policy as Executive Director. Prior to founding and running the Institute, Kramer served in numerous senior leadership positions across party lines - notably as Deputy Campaign Director with the Libertarian presidential campaign and Senior Field Manager with a local Democratic Campaign for Congress. As Kramer served in these positions, he was also active on social media, where he connected tens of millions of viewers to politics utilizing a neoteric policy lens. He thoroughly enjoys applying his analytical skills and exploring solutions to complex issues at hand.
Carlos is a second-year student at RIT majoring in Supply Chain Management, striving towards the goal of a world driven by technology that works better for everyone. Carlos has considerable experience in the world of politics, with current and previous roles ranging from issue advocacy to the ballot box, and everything in between. He oversaw various stages of the grassroots event lifecycle (including internal/external documentation, publication via MobilizeAmerica, and distribution via Hustle) for Andrew Yang's presidential campaign. Carlos also served on Andrew's mayoral campaign in the dual roles of Email Support Team Lead and Finance Committee Member.
Marielle DeVos is an undergraduate student at American University and current Policy Director at the Institute for Youth in Policy with experience in policy-oriented research and writing. She is completing her undergraduate degree in International Studies and Political Science, with a focus on U.S foreign policy and international security, and plans to pursue an MPA after graduation. Her extensive experience with policy-oriented research and writing includes a research paper published in the Journal of Student Research and 12 articles published with YIP.
Luke Drago hails from Charlotte, North Carolina. He studies Politics & History at the University of Oxford and is a college member of St Edmund Hall. Luke has worked on campaigns at every level of government, from local elections to presidential elections. He has been a successful advocate for numerous policy initiatives, including a historic local investment into attainable housing. He is driven by a conviction that public policy can be a powerful mechanism to change lives and shape the future.
Alex Curry (21) is a current senior at Duke University studying Economics and Law & Governance History. Originally from Arizona, Alex spent most of his high school career competing in Speech and Debate, where he found his passion for politics and policy analysis. Since coming to Duke, Alex has stayed active in politics with various political projects and advocacy groups such as Swing NC Duke, Sunrise NC, and the Kids Voting Durham Initiative. Recently, Alex has begun working as a United Nations Volunteer in grant-writing and youth entrepreneurship initiatives. After graduating, Alex plans to work towards a career in International Development to improve lives and global opportunities.
Dylan Vergara is a High School Senior from Los Angeles, California. Before joining YIP, he was the Director of Community at Our National Conversation and the Executive Director of Civic Onward. He previously served as the Co-CEO of Unlock the Grid and has conducted quantitative research for educational gerrymandering. He has created a housing-first proposal to limit LA homelessness and is currently working on educational activism. Outside of politics, Dylan runs his Speech and Debate and Model United Nations clubs at his high school and helps Title I children through enrichment courses during his free time. Dylan hopes to gain an education focused on constitutional law and social entrepreneurship in the future.
Ryen Lim is a recent graduate from New York University. For her senior project, she analyzed affordable housing policy across six U.S. cities, as advised by Neil Kleiman (Senior Advisor at the GovLab, former Director of Policy at Living Cities). She also contributed research to "The Rise of the Alt-Right" (Brookings Institution Press, 2018) by Thomas J. Main. She has interned with the City of Palo Alto, Westwood Gallery (New York, NY), and the GO Project (New York, NY). She currently manages a virtual reading community with members in 13 countries and its sister podcast, Roses All Trash. She also volunteers with Legal Aid of Marin and the Marin Community Court. In fall 2021, Ryen will join the J.D. Class of 2024 at Cardozo School of Law.
Brandon Tran is a sophomore at the University of Southern California majoring in Political Science with a minor in Organizational Leadership and Management. He is a first-generation college student and a first-generation American, having immigrated to the United States from Vietnam as a child. Within politics, his primary area of interest is in studying and mitigating political polarization, which he hopes to do in his work with YIP. He is also a member of No Labels’ Youth Congress, where he works with other young political minds around the country to develop policy that could ultimately be presented to members of Congress in the Problem Solvers Caucus. In Brandon’s free time, he enjoys playing sports, watching movies, and writing.
Camille Argarin (18) is an incoming freshman at the University of Georgia studying Accounting and Art History. In her passion for advocacy, she volunteered as a finance intern for Carolyn Bourdeaux (GA-7), a poll worker, and, most notably, the National Finance Director and Finance Committee Co-Chair for HSDA. Currently, she is working to publish a paper on alt-right extremism. In her path to becoming a corporate lawyer, she has participated in FBLA on the state and national levels as well as interning for a CPA firm. In her free time, she enjoys painting and collecting unique teas.
Kavya Venugopalan is currently a student at the University of Texas at Dallas studying Economics. She first became involved in the political sphere when she joined her local Youth Advisory Council in high school and was able to see how the local government affects the community. Continuing into college, she has participated in different political and advocacy organizations such as Women Pursuing Law, where she hosts a podcast Under Oath, and United Nations Girl Up, where she serves as the advocacy chair. Her career goal is to practice international law in order to resolve conflicts and promote peace globally.
Allen Yao (17) is a civic-minded individual that sparks conversation with empathy. Over the summer, he founded Verbum, a platform that promotes political discourse. As the director, Allen started the Clash of Opposing Views debate series, while also producing and editing Behind the Politics. Outside of politics, Allen is the captain of his high school’s Mock Trial team and a varsity fencer. He was also a coach for his middle school’s parliamentary debate team.
Out of thousands of applicants and team members, only a few hundred individuals have been chosen to participate in YIP programs. Fellows are chosed for having demonstrated remarkable competence, passion, and diligence with regard to policy research, discourse, leadership, and critical review abilities.
Adrienne is a 16 year old from the Bay Area. She is passionate about healthcare, public policy, and social medicine. Adrienne currently works within the Institute as a Public Health Policy Analyst and was a graduate with distinction from the flagship Summer '21 Internship Program. Outside of YIP, she serves ATE Together as the Chief Operating Officer.
Alice is a fourth year student at the University of Virginia, double-majoring in Foreign Affairs and Public Policy & Leadership at the Frank Batten School. She currently works at the Nationa Security Research Center as an RA and graduated with distinction from the YIP '21 Summer Internship Program.
Katherine is a recent political science graduate from the University of Texas at Dallas. She is currently undertaking a gap year to work as an immigration paralegal. Katherine has experience as a former congressional intern for Rep. Colin Allred. She hopes to run for public office in the interest of solidifying a multi-racial working class voter base.
Elizabeth Miller is a freshman at Hastings College in Nebraska studying Business Management and Political Science. She fell in love with politics through years of high school speech and debate and as a result became involved with local politics as an election judge and volunteer. Elizabeth was a graduate with distinction from the YIP '21 Summer Internship and currently serves the Institute as a Public Health Policy Lead.
Joe is a scholar-activist attending Little Rock Central interested in the field of social justice. He currently serves as Communications Director on a Gubernatorial Campaign and Policy Lead with the Institute for Youth in Policy. He plans to further his career by studying sociology and pre-law as an undergrad to become a better advocate. His goal is to become a community organizer and use his job to positively affect others, specifically those affected by immigration and incarceration.
Daniel Stewart is a high-school senior hailing from the Greater Philadelphia area and identifies politically as both a social democrat and a progressive. His political interests focus on both social and economic issues. In his free time, Daniel can be found participating in his school's debate club and literary magazine, playing piano competitively, and writing.
Samantha Blackman is a senior in high school in New York City. She is interested in many aspects of public policy, particularly with respect to education and equality of opportunity. She has been actively involved in tutoring students from disadvantaged areas for several years, and enjoys playing tennis in my spare time.
Donovan Zagorin is a Junior in high school that attends Upland High School in Southern California. He has the goal of attending college for a political science degree once he graduates. His interest in politics began his Freshman year in high school when he was introduced to different political books. Ever since he started his journey he has continued to try to spread knowledge about the topics he cares most about.