SBPC Co-Founder Mike Pierce to Serve as Next Executive Director and Persis Yu to Join as Policy Director and Managing Counsel
October 20, 2021 | WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, the Student Borrower Protection Center (SBPC), a national nonprofit working to end the student debt crisis, announced that SBPC co-founder Mike Pierce will serve as the next executive director of the organization and Persis Yu will join as the SBPC’s new policy director and managing counsel. Seth Frotman, the founding executive director of the SBPC will step down later this month.
Pierce takes the helm of the growing organization at a time when stakes for student loan borrowers, their communities, and the American economy have never been higher — as student loan payments are scheduled to restart for over 40 million Americans at the end of the year amid an uneven economic recovery and resurgent pandemic. As executive director, Pierce will continue SBPC’s work fighting on behalf of millions of student loan borrowers and cracking down on predatory practices plaguing the student loan industry.
“We have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to protect the financial futures of American families and reshape the role student debt plays in American higher education,” said incoming Executive Director Mike Pierce. “We have more work to do than ever before and I’m excited to lead the dedicated team of lawyers and advocates at the SBPC in this next chapter.”
“The $1.7 trillion student loan system is crushing generations of student loan borrowers,” said incoming Policy Director and Managing Counsel Persis Yu. “I am thrilled to join the leadership team at the Student Borrower Protection Center as we tackle the financial devastation caused by broken promises and predatory actors. The enormity of the student loan crisis has met its match with the fierce team of advocates at the Student Borrower Protection Center.”
“As the nation’s foremost organization working on behalf of student loan borrowers, the SBPC is driving meaningful policy change, establishing new borrower protections, and making millions of struggling Americans’ lives better,” said founding SBPC Executive Director Seth Frotman. “Building this organization has been an honor of a lifetime. I am excited to see all that Mike and Persis will accomplish for borrowers going forward. There is so much work ahead — and this is the team that will get it done.”
Mike Pierce has served as policy director and managing counsel at the SBPC since helping to start the organization in 2018. He is an attorney, advocate, and former senior regulator who, prior to co-founding SBPC, spent more than a decade leading the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s work on student debt and fighting for student loan borrowers’ rights on Capitol Hill.
Persis Yu will join the SBPC next month from the National Consumer Law Center where she has served as the director of the organization’s Student Loan Borrower Assistance Project since 2016. Yu is a nationally recognized expert on student loan law and has over a decade of hands-on experience representing low-income student borrowers before the Department of Education, Congress, and in federal and state court.
Since opening its doors in 2018, the SBPC has reshaped the national conversation about student debt and delivered billions of dollars in relief to millions of struggling student loan borrowers. This work includes: helping to establish new borrower protections in over a dozen states, launching investigations that exposed industry abuses and forced companies to halt harmful and discriminatory practices; releasing original research on the effects of the student debt crisis on American families; and securing justice for millions of borrowers harmed by mismanagement and abuse across broken student loan system.
The SBPC’s successful efforts to drive change are rooted in its effective partnerships. Under Pierce’s and Yu’s leadership, the SBPC will continue to work to expand the SBPC’s diverse, nationwide network of partners fighting on behalf of borrowers—a movement of students and student loan borrowers, state and federal lawmakers, attorneys general, consumer advocates, civil rights organizations, advocates for military families, legal aid attorneys, and many others.
The Student Borrower Protection Center is a nonprofit organization focused on alleviating the burden of student debt for millions of Americans. The SBPC engages in advocacy, policymaking, and litigation strategy to rein in industry abuses, protect borrowers’ rights, and advance economic opportunity for the next generation of students.