America Forward Adds Lexi Barrett and Nicole Truhe to America Forward Policy Team

lexi barret and nicole truhe

America Forward is pleased to announce that Lexi Barrett and Nicole Truhe have joined our team in Washington, D.C. 

Lexi Barrett joins America Forward as its new Policy Director. Lexi previously served at the White House on the Domestic Policy Council as a Senior Policy Advisor on Education and helped shape and advance President Obama’s early education and K-12 education agenda. Prior to that, Lexi served as a policy advisor at the Department of Education (focusing on ESEA flexibility waivers) and as legislative assistant to Senator Richard Durbin (working on higher education and other issues).  As America Forward’s Policy Director, Lexi will focus on developing and implementing federal policy initiatives that accelerate social innovation, engaging in the 2016 Presidential election, leading policy communications strategies, and lending her support to America Forward’s education policy work.

Nicole Truhe joins America Forward as its new Government Affairs Director. Nicole comes to America Forward from Youth Villages, where she served as the Assistant Director of National Policy and Government Relations representing Youth Villages on the Hill, at federal agencies, and in a variety of networks, and where she became a leading voice in national Pay for Success policy discussions. She is also a Ph.D. candidate in Public Policy at George Mason University, concentrating on innovative strategies in the U.S. child welfare system.  As Government Affairs Director, Nicole will strengthen America Forward’s government relations capacity and accelerate their work on Pay for Success, workforce, child welfare, and criminal justice. Nicole will also lend her support to America Forward’s 2016 Presidential campaign outreach work with social entrepreneurs.

Truhe’s role of Government Affairs Director was previously held by Jessica Gross Crawford. Crawford will be taking on the new role of Director of Strategic Partnerships at America Forward. In her new capacity, Jessica will continue to work closely with America Forward Coalition members, working closely with New Profit’s portfolio organizations to build their policy agendas, and forge additional strategic partnerships for America Forward.

Says Deborah Smolover, Executive Director of America Forward,

“This year has been an incredibly productive one for America Forward and we are facing some exciting expansions in our work preparing for the 2016 Presidential Election, building upon the momentum of our recent Pay for Success legislative wins, strengthening our field leadership, and expanding our policy work connected to New Profit portfolio priority areas. Lexi, Nicole, and Jessica all bring a wealth of knowledge and a depth of passion for all policy areas vital to America Forward’s work.  The unique and collective experiences they each bring to their new roles will add tremendous value to our policy and advocacy work and surely take us to new heights.”

America Forward is a national non-partisan policy initiative, spearheaded by New Profit Inc., that unites national policymakers with innovators who lead high-impact and results-driven organizations to advance a public policy agenda that champions innovative and effective solutions to our country’s most pressing social problems. For more information about America Forward, visit

Photos courtesy of Lexi Barrett (left) and Nicole Truhe (right).

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