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Michelle Francois

Youth in Adversity


Michelle Francois leads the Compassionate Systems work at the National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) which includes FosterEd, an initiative in 4 states to help young people who come into contact with public systems to graduate high school with a wide array of possibilities for their future. Prior to coming to NCYL, she served as the Associate Director of Child Welfare with the Stuart Foundation, where she led a major initiative to improve education outcomes for foster youth across California. Her life’s work has been focused on helping young people realize the vastness of their potential and supporting systems change efforts that put the needs of youth at the center of policies and practices. Francois’ life and work experience span a broad spectrum: as an artist, stage director, community activist, strategic planner and program director – all the while as a passionate advocate for young people and families. Her superpower is finding out what is uniquely awesome about people, lives in San Francisco with her amazing husband Cliff and step-son Theo, and holds a Bachelor of Arts from Macalester College in Minnesota