Rebecca Louve Yao joined the National Foster Youth Institute in 2018 as the National Policy and Organizing Director. Since that time, she has held several leadership roles and in January 2021, became Executive Director. As an alumnus of the child welfare system Rebecca is passionate about empowering former foster youth to become change-makers in the child welfare system because she believes they are experts whose voices should be at the center of policy reform.
Rebecca has extensive experience as a senior strategist in leadership development, movement-building, grassroots organizing, strategic planning, marketing and outreach, and civic engagement which has led to the mobilization of diverse stakeholders to create policy and legislative change. As a strong communicator, she has been able to successfully create bridges between foster youth and policymakers.
Rebecca is in the process of completing the clinical social work hours needed to become a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Prior to joining NFYI, she was a social worker in Solano County, California for Child Welfare Services from 2016 to 2018. During her tenure at California Youth Connection, she launched advocacy campaigns and developed organizing plans in 13 California counties from 2008 to 2014. Rebecca sat on the California Redesign Taskforce in 2002 and was a Congressional Intern with the Congressional Coalition on Adoption Institute in Washington DC in 2006. She graduated with her master’s degree in Social Welfare from the University of California Berkeley in 2016 and with her bachelor’s degree from California State University San Marcos in Communications in 2008.
Rebecca volunteers as a mentor for young women in her community and travels with current and former foster youth with Foster Youth Cultural Exchange. She sits on the Advisory Committee for Foster Youth Museum and is a volunteer therapist for Catholic Charities in Washington, DC. Rebecca’s work is informed by her unique experience of the child welfare system from multiple vantage points, including as a former foster youth, adoptive parent, child protection worker, therapist, and advocate.