Thea Sebastian

Nonresident Senior Fellow – Brookings Metro, Director – The Futures Institute

Thea Sebastian is the founding executive director of the Futures Institute, a nonprofit dedicated to advancing community safety and cradle-to-career youth opportunity using policy research and development, legislative advocacy, and multidisciplinary coalition-building.

Prior to her current role, Sebastian  spent six years as policy director at Civil Rights Corps, where she built the policy department and pioneered a broad focus on affirmative, evidence-informed approaches to safety. In previous positions, she primarily focused on social, educational, and urban policy, including stints as associate general counsel for Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser and in the White House Domestic Policy Council. She also spent three years in the classroom, including two years teaching special education in the South Bronx.

Her publications include co-authored pieces with the Brookings Institution, a law journal article, and op-eds in publications including The New York Times, The Guardian, USA Today, Teen Vogue, Newsweek, and The Hill. She currently sits on the Harvard University Board of Overseers, which she joined in 2020.

Sebastian is a graduate of Harvard College, Harvard Law School, and the University of Oxford, where she completed a MSc in comparative social policy.

In her free time, she is passionate about hiking (the more vertical, the better), yoga, creative writing, and dancing bachata.

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