Head of the Class: Teach for America GC Leads During Years of Massive Growth

Tracy-Elizabeth Clay

Q: Since you are TFA's first full-time GC, how have you shaped the role?

A: My responsibility has been to build the legal capacity of the organization. When I started three years ago [as GC], the legal department was just me. Now we have an associate general counsel and a team assistant with a paralegal background. We also have a compliance arm and a woman who handles our largest federal grant and contract.

Q: What do you think led to the explosion of TFA applicants this year?

A: A lot of people are responding to the call to service that President Obama initiated. His whole campaign invigorated and engaged a lot of young folks, and that spirit is continuing. People are really excited to think very deeply about how they might engage in community service and public interest. More generally, the economy has provided people--especially folks in colleges who might have been on a particular career track--with permission to step back and rethink what their values are and where they're going to spend the next couple of years because it seems so difficult to plan in this environment. We're seeing people who, in the past, might not have considered doing this type of work.

Associate Editor

Lauren Williamson

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