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 BOD to fulfill vacancy. Leadership works to lead and drive the organization as a whole, making decisions that affect the whole organization.
Paul Kramer currently resides in the Bay Area and serves the Institute for Youth in Policy as the Executive Director. He is formerly a Senior Field Manager with the Kumar for Congress campaign and a Deputy Campaign Director with the Jorgensen for President Campaign. While serving as the Deputy Campaign Director, Paul built Dr. Jorgensen's internship program from the ground up which ultimately amassed over 800 interns. Kramer has further published numerous Public Policy articles that have been featured in multiple publications. Kramers' extensive research on partisanship surrounding modern-day politics has received recognition from copious institutions, notably the Harvard Kennedy School. He founded YIP while still a political TikToker, where he was a member of the Republican Hype House (1.1million) and ran his own personal TikTok account (68k). As an avid Boy Scout, Paul enjoys spending his downtime in the outdoors either camping or hiking.
Second Year student at RIT majoring in Supply Chain Management. Former Organizer for the Yang2020 Campaign with extensive experience managing the grassroots event lifecycle (including documentation, publication via MobilizeAmerica, and distribution via Hustle) and supporting a volunteer team that handled over 100,000 email inquiries. Experienced in basic technical support, from both a software and hardware perspective - notably, assisting faculty on a daily basis through an internship opportunity with my school’s IT administrator. Outside the classroom, technical support work extends to pro-bono moderation and administration work for several discord communities, notably the YACU (Young Americans Coalition for Unity) with light crossover into website design and VM Management.
Hailing from northern Illinois, Ella Foes currently studies mathematics, philosophy, and economics through the University of Alabama’s Randall Research Scholars and Blount Scholars programs and has over three years of experience in policy research, nonprofit management, and civic programming. She conducted two econometric research projects focused on pharmaceutical price trends and the partisanship of enfranchisement legislation during her time as a student at the Illinois Math and Science Academy; served in various regional and national leadership positions in the Junior State of America including National Chief of Staff, Chapter President, Midwest Director of Debate, and a summer internship; founded and directed the first high school chapter of the ACLU’s Illinois affiliate and, as a member of the Illinois Healthy YouthAct Coalition, coauthored a zine published by the ACLU to advocate for comprehensive sex education in Illinois through the Keeping Youth Healthy and Safe Act. Additionally, Ella works as an election judge and has been heavily involved in projects and organizations dedicated topromoting equity and inclusivity on her high school’s campus.
Tyler Young (17) is a senior from the Cleveland, Ohio area. Before joining YIP, he was the National Director of Debate for the Junior State of America. He is incredibly passionate about helping students engage in politics on the local, state, and national levels. Outside of YIP, you can find Tyler on a run, working his way through a long backlog of books, or at Mock Trial practice. As an Eagle Scout, EMT, and biostatistics researcher, Tyler hopes to work at the intersection of medicine and law 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.
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.
Brandon Tran is a sophomore at the University of Southern 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.
Elisa is a junior at UCLA studying Political Science and minoring in Spanish and Chinese. She grew up in Mexico City, Beijing, and Southern California. Elisa spent most of her high school career working with nonprofit organizations, where she found her passion in politics and public relations. She is a recipient of the Congressional Award for Community Service and has been involved in political community service from high school to college. Since coming to UCLA, Elisa has held multiple marketing director positions in startup companies and groups such as the Bruin Investment and Trading Group. She was involved in the drafting of the Health Impact Fund lead by Yale Professor Thomas Pogge, which is now implemented in India and China. After graduating, Elisa plans to continue working in the policy industry and attending law school.
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.
Luke Drago is a committed citizen who has actualized his passion for community change with years of experience in leadership, political strategy, public policy, communications, and organizing. He was raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. He studies Politics & History at the University of Oxford and is a college member of St Edmund Hall. In high school, he was the captain of the public forum debate team, a three-time qualifier for National History Day's national documentary competition, and a top-16 debater in the National Catholic Forensic League's national tournament. 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 district-wide school security overhaul and a historic local investment into attainable housing. Currently, Luke is the campaign manager for a Town Commissioner in North Carolina. He is driven by a conviction that public policy can be a powerful mechanism to change lives and shape the future.