Innovator: Amanda Nguyen

Founder, Rise
Amanda Nguyen
Amanda Nguyen Courtesy of Amanda Nguyen

After being sexually assaulted in college, Harvard grad Amanda Nguyen took on a criminal justice system she describes as “broken.” Launching the nonprofit Rise, she became the power behind the Sexual Assault Survivors' Rights Act, which includes the right to not have a rape kit destroyed before the statute of limitations expires, the right to receive copies of police reports and the right to be notified of your rights. Its unanimous passage in 2016 “means equality under the law for all survivors,” says Nguyen. “[It] clears a path to justice in an otherwise complicated labyrinth of patchwork laws.”

Though nominated for a Nobel Prize, as a young woman of color, Nguyen is still sometimes discounted in the corridors of power. “But we are laser-focused and data-driven; we keep our heads down and continue our work. We've created 19 laws in 18 months, protecting nearly 40 million survivors. That keeps me pushing forward.”

About the program

We're saluting innovators who have developed creative solutions to the problems that face our world—pollution, economic disparity, war, discrimination and more. Say hello to the creative class of 2019.