Measure of America’s newest report on youth disconnection in America, More Than a Million Reasons for Hope,1 shows that in 2016, a total of 11.7 percent of young Americans were disconnected, an improvement from the 2015 rate of 12.3 percent, and a 20 percent decrease from the 2010 peak rate of 14.7 percent, in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Yet 4.6 million young people remain out of work and out of school.
Kristen Lewis is codirector of Measure of America and coauthor of two volumes of the Measure of America (Columbia University Press, 2008 and NYU Press, 2010), as well as well-being reports for California, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Marin and Sonoma Counties. Before founding Measure of America with codirector Sarah Burd-Sharps in 2007, Lewis was senior policy advisor to the water and sanitation task force of the UN Millennium Project, led by Jeffery Sachs, and was coauthor of the task force report, Health, Dignity and Development: What Will It Take? (Earthscan, 2005). She previously worked at the United Nations for many years, first with UNIFEM and then as in UNDP's policy bureau, and has served as a consultant on gender equality issues for numerous international development organizations, including UNICEF and UNFPA. Lewis contributes regularly to media outlets, with articles published in the The Nation, Huffington Post, and Stanford Social Innovation Review, among others, research cited by The New York Times, Forbes, The Atlantic, Washington Post, NPR, Slate, Freakonomics blog, and frequent newspaper and radio interviews. She received a master’s degree in international affairs from Columbia University.