Andrew began his professional career as a young lawyer in Wyatt v. Poundstone and R.C. v. Hornsby working with the State of Alabama to reduce its reliance on the institutionalization of children and to develop community-based alternatives for children and their families. Since then, Andrew’s career encompasses leading a range of national initiatives aimed at legislative, policy, and practice reforms at the local, state, and Federal levels. He has also established and directed organizations whose missions were to improve the safety, health, education, and well-being of children. Andrew has advised elected officials, policy makers, advocacy organizations, and private philanthropy on strategies to catalyze sustainable improvements in the quality and availability of critical support services for children.
As Senior Innovation Advisor to the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services, Andrew played a critical role in reforming its statewide array of child welfare services by restructuring the state’s frontline interaction with high-risk children and families. As Chief Executive Officer of one of California’s largest policy and direct service organizations for children, he worked with elected officials to reform public funding streams to improve the quality and capacity of private providers of housing, health, and education services for teens and young adults. He has also negotiated cross-sector public and private partnerships to introduce large-scale education and employment opportunities for at-risk high school students and young adults at both the county- and state-levels.
Partnering with large and complex entities, such as the University of Southern California/Los Angeles County Medical Center, Andrew also expanded the availability and sharpened the quality of diagnostic and treatment services for Medicaid-dependent children. Andrew further led the establishment of National Adoption Day by uniting elected officials and private leaders across the country where thousands of children continue to be adopted today. Finally, Andrew is a founder of California’s first all-female college preparatory charter school for pregnant and parenting teens.
Andrew attended Wesleyan University, graduated from Harvard Law School, and is a former Fulbright Scholar. Andrew was raised in Los Angeles County’s foster care system from age 7 to 18 and his memoir, Hope’s Boy, a New York Times and international bestseller, continues to be used in undergraduate child educational and behavioral curricula, and in graduate schools of education, social work, and public policy.