Samaura Stone is a policy analyst at Ascend at the Aspen Institute. Stone comes to the Aspen Institute after working as a congressional legislative fellow in the office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY) and Representative Karen Bass (CA-37). Originally from Oregon, she received her Master of Social Work degree from Portland State University. Prior to and during graduate school, she held positions within nonprofit organizations, government, and school districts, including a three-year tenure with the office of Senator Jeff Merkley (OR). As a former direct practice social worker, Stone has advocated for vulnerable populations, including foster youth, formerly incarcerated women, homeless families and individuals impacted by mental health and substance use. Stone has served on state, local and national boards, including a government-appointment as the Vice-Chair of the Oregon Advocacy Commission, Washington County Civil Service Commission and the American Association of University Women National Student Advisory Council. She is also a former America’s Leaders of Change, National Urban Fellow.