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Ashley Harrington

Federal Advocacy Director

Ashley Harrington is the Federal Advocacy Director and a Senior Counsel at the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL). Ashley’s portfolio includes general consumer lending issues, with a particular focus on student debt and small business. Ashley recently returned to CRL from a brief project at UNCF (the United Negro College Fund). At UNCF, Ashley served as the director of the National Social Justice Program and was a member of the Public Policy and Government Affairs team. In that role, Ashley led new policy and programmatic efforts to address systemic issues that perpetuate racial and economic inequality. The program’s initial focus was criminal justice reform, especially as it intersects with higher education. In addition to spearheading this program, Ashley worked on student debt issues.

Before UNCF, Ashley served as CRL’s special assistant to the president and policy counsel. She assumed a lead role in federal advocacy efforts and was a primary negotiator for the Department of Education’s 2017 – 2018 Borrower Defense to Repayment Rulemaking Committee. Ashley previously worked in the Office of Governor Andrew Cuomo as special assistant to the chief diversity officer, focusing on supplier diversity in government contracting and state workforce diversity.

Originally from Greensboro, NC, Ashley received her B.A. in Public Policy Analysis from UNC-Chapel Hill, where she was a Morehead-Cain Scholar and a Gates Millennium Scholar. After UNC, Ashley earned her J.D. from New York University School of Law. At NYU, Ashley was a Derrick Bell Public Service Scholar and an Articles Editor of the NYU Law Review. Upon graduation, she was awarded the Vanderbilt Medal for outstanding service to the law school community. Ashley is admitted to practice law in New York.

Research & Policy

Our in-depth research of financial practices is intended to guide policymakers and opinion leaders working to improve the state of lending.


November 23, 2020
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) and the National Consumer Law Center (NCLC) released a policy report illustrating a path out of the student debt crisis and...
September 30, 2020
Updated HEROES Act Deserves Immediate Consideration by U.S. Senate WASHINGTON, D.C. – This evening, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a new comprehensive COVID-19 aid package – an updated...
September 30, 2020 | By McKenna Moore | Fortune
“Supposedly there’s been a major recovery since the Great Recession, but communities of color haven’t recovered,” Ashley Harrington, the federal advocacy director and senior counsel at the Center for...
September 23, 2020 | By Charlene Crowell | Winston-Salem Chronicle
“This bill is an inadequate response to our current economic fallout and public health crisis,” said Ashley Harrington, federal advocacy director and senior policy counsel with the Center for...