Ruth Delaney


Ruth Delaney works as initiative director for the Unlocking Potential initiative to advance Vera’s goals for quality, equity, and scale among college programs in prison. Ruth led a successful state-level policy campaign in New Jersey to reinstate eligibility for state financial aid for incarcerated people and joined her team and partners in the field to successfully push Congress to reinstate Pell Grant eligibility for people in prison in 2020.

Before joining Vera in 2011, Ruth worked in philanthropy, supporting research-based policy and practice reforms in the criminal and juvenile justice fields.

Ruth holds a BA in English from Manhattanville College, as well as an MA in women’s studies and a PhD in sociology from the City University of New York Graduate Center. Her dissertation research explored the meaning of college shared by people who enrolled while incarcerated in New York.