New America Turns 20

Clarissa Villondo / New America

In 2019, New America celebrated 20 years of innovation and impact. Since our founding in 1999, we have promised to bring new ideas and new voices into America’s public discourse: big, bold ideas that anticipate the need for sweeping reform. Over the years, we’ve also made it clear that we don’t stop at just developing big ideas—we want to ensure that those ideas have impact, through law, policy, or technological and practical solutions that help Americans and people around the world.

Twenty years on, we are dedicated to renewing the promise of America by continuing the quest to realize our nation’s highest ideals, honestly confronting the challenges presented by rapid technological and social change, and seizing the opportunities those changes create to expand opportunity and equity for all. Here, we highlight some of the big ideas that demonstrate the breadth and impact of New America’s work.

Explore the below for retrospectives on our work of the last 20 years, and rewatch events that continue to build on our key issue areas.

NA20 in The Weekly

Source: New America

Remembering the Student Loan Scandal, Stephen Burd

"When I arrived at New America in 2007, the student loan industry’s dominance of the federal student loan program looked impenetrable. It may be difficult to believe that now, given that the government makes all federal loans, but to see how far we’ve come over the last decade, it’s worthwhile to revisit the recent past.

At the time, banks and other private for-profit and nonprofit lenders made the bulk of federal loans to college students and middlemen known as guarantee agencies, which insured debt on behalf of the government. The federal government paid substantial premiums to these entities to participate in the program and essentially covered all their losses when borrowers defaulted on these loans. With so many non-governmental players involved, the Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) program was extremely complex and unnecessarily expensive for taxpayers." Keep reading.

More Pieces

NA20 Events


New America 20th Anniversary Campaign and Celebration Host Committee: New America Board Members David Bradley, Maxine Clark, Bill Gerrity, Sally Osberg, and Todd Park

New America’s 20th Anniversary Campaign is a year-long celebration culminating with a reception and party on November 13 that will bring together over 500 + friends and leaders in the public policy and media space including representatives from our board, staff, policymakers, civil society partners, government representatives, corporate partners, and fellows. We invite you to show your support through sponsorship of the NA20 year-long celebration and party. Please contact to learn more about sponsorships.

If you are unable to attend our celebration, but wish to support our efforts, individual donations are welcomed at