Lauren Asher

Lauren Asher, Public Member, is an independent consultant to foundations and nonprofits striving to increase equity and opportunity. A nationally recognized expert on college affordability and outcomes, she is the former president The Institute for College Access & Success (TICAS) and co-founder of its Project on Student Debt. At TICAS, she led successful efforts to simplify the financial aid application process, increase federal and California grant aid for low-income students, make federal student loan payments more manageable, and strengthen consumer protections for borrowers. Lauren has provided expert testimony to federal and state policymakers — from the Senate HELP Committee to regulators — on higher education issues of particular importance to low-income and underrepresented student populations.

Lauren’s experience spans the nonprofit, public, and philanthropic sectors and education, health, and labor issues. Before TICAS, she served in senior positions at the Kaiser Family Foundation, National Partnership for Women & Families, and the U.S. Department of Labor’s Women’s Bureau, where she received a Hammer Award for Reinventing Government. Her nonprofit career began in California at Children Now. She volunteers as a college coach through ScholarMatch and serves on the advisory board of Kids Impact Initiative. Lauren holds an MPA from Harvard’s John F. Kennedy School of Government and a BA from Brown University.

Current Term

2020 – 2023