As Director of Government Relations at the National Foster Youth Institute, Cortez Carey cultivates meaningful relationships and inspires a cadre of committed federal, state and local decision makers who will champion foster care reform, change cultural norms across the country, and elevate the profile of NFYI’s issues. Carey’s work centers the voices of current and former foster youth when educating decision-makers about NYFI issues.
Carey was formerly the Director of the Congressional Caucus on Foster Youth on Capitol Hill.
Cortez has hands-on experience navigating the congressional culture in child welfare policy as well as lived experience in the Pennsylvania foster care system. He worked many years as a professional child welfare advocate in Pennsylvania and consultant in D.C. before enlisting in the United States Air Force to further his education. Living in South Dakota for 3 years and deploying overseas to Qatar was an eye-opening experience that assisted in creating a heightened sense of humility and acceptance of self.
Cortez attended Community College of Allegheny County, Community College of the Air Force, PennWest Clarion (formerly Clarion University of PA), and has a Masters of Social Work from Howard University in Washington, DC, where he currently resides.