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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.


August 10, 2018
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Department of Education Secretary Betsy DeVos announced her plan to repeal the Gainful Employment (GE) rule which would hold career education institutions, especially...
August 2, 2018 | By Ashley Harrington | Center for Responsible Lending
For too long, for-profit colleges have failed to serve the educational purpose for which they were intended. The combination of high-costs and low graduation rates by these bad actors have resulted...
July 30, 2018 | By Stephanie Carson | Public News Service
"It's a comprehensive package that seeks to make college more affordable, more accessible, and hold institutions more accountable for the results that they achieve,” explains Ashley Harrington, a...
July 27, 2018 | By Elissa Nadworny | NPR
"It puts so much responsibility on students and students alone," said Ashley Harrington, a lawyer at the Center for Responsible Lending, "and on no other piece of this puzzle."