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Tenth Biennial Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference

March 23 – 24, 2017
Washington, D.C.

Tenth Biennial Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference
Strong Foundations conference logo

The Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference is a unique event that convenes researchers, policymakers, and practitioners across sectors to consider important issues that low- to moderate-income people and communities face.

Strong Foundations, Plenary 1, full ballroom
Greg Gibson

The 2017 conference, which convened on March 23–24 at the Marriott Marquis hotel in Washington, D.C., explored the interplay between the development of kids and their communities, with an understanding that “development” factors into key economic and social aspects of kids’ lives. High-quality and emerging research from multiple disciplines was presented in a dialogue with policymakers and community practitioners. In addition, the conference featured keynote remarks by Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago President Charles Evans, and Harlem Children's Zone founder Geoffrey Canada.

If you have questions about the conference, please email

Post-conference media inquiries? Contact Alyssa Augustine, Media Representative, at 612-204-5175 or

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Agenda, Videos, and Conference Materials | Infographics | Media and Commentary | Speakers

Agenda, Videos, and Conference Materials

All times listed are Eastern Time.

Color Key for Concurrent Session Titles
Teal sessions feature papers focused on Early Childhood Development.
Orange sessions feature papers focused on Community Conditions.
Green sessions feature papers focused on Education and Workforce. 

Downloadable Agenda for Printing

Thursday, March 23

7:00 a.m. ET Check In and Breakfast 
8:30 a.m.

Welcome and Conference Overview [Video]

David Buchholz, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Michael Grover, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis 

Opening Remarks [Video] Chair

Janet Yellen, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Introduced by Eric Belsky, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System 

9:00 a.m.

Plenary Session I: Early Childhood Development and Return on Investment [Video]

Katherine Magnuson, University of Wisconsin-Madison [Presentation Slides]

Jack Shonkoff, Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University [Presentation Slides]

Arthur Rolnick, University of Minnesota [Paper] [Presentation Slides]

Moderator: Aranthan (AJ) Jones II, W.K. Kellogg Foundation

10:30 a.m. Break 
11:00 a.m.

Concurrent Sessions 1

Early Childhood Development: Bringing Programs to Scale 

Arthur J. Reynolds, University of Minnesota, Scaling and Sustaining Effective Early Childhood Programs Through School-Family-University Collaboration [Paper] [Presentation Slides]

M. Caridad Araujo, Inter-American Development Bank, Implementing Home Visiting At-Scale: the Evaluation of Peru's Cuna Mas [Abstract] [Presentation Slides]

Max Crowley, Pennsylvania State University, Valuing Early Social and Emotional Skills [Presentation Slides]

Moderator: Yvonne Sparks, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Discussant: Carrie Cihak, Office of King County Executive Dow Constantine

Community-Based Strategies to Boost Academic Achievement

Stefanie DeLuca, Johns Hopkins University, Something To Be About: Identity and Institutions in the Lives of Urban Youth [Brief] [Presentation Slides]

Amy Schwartz, Syracuse University, Maxwell School, The Impact of Housing Vouchers on Academic Outcomes [Paper 1] [Paper 2] [Presentation Slides]

Gregory Gilpin, Montana State University, Do Opportunities to Close the Learning Gap Exist in Every U.S. Community? An Assessment of Public Libraries as an Educational Pinch Hitter [Paper] [Presentation Slides]

Moderator: Roy Lopez, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas 

Discussant: Andrea Levere, CFED (Corporation for Enterprise Development)

Returns to Education: Disparities in Outcomes

Alessia Leibert, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Racial Disparities in Employment Outcomes after College [Paper] [Presentation Slides]

Rajashri Chakrabarti, Federal Reserve Bank of New York, How Does For-Profit College Attendance Affect Student Loans, Defaults, and Earnings? [Paper]

Amy Peterson, St. Catherine University, Returns to Education in American Indian and Alaskan Native Communities [Paper] [Presentation Slides]

Moderator: Claire Kramer Mills, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Discussant: Anusha Nath, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis 

12:30 p.m. 


Afternoon Remarks: President Neel Kashkari, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis [Video]

Introduced by Michael Grover, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis 

2:00 p.m. Transition time
2:15 p.m.

Concurrent Sessions 2 

Assessing the Impact of Early Learning Programs

Jeffrey Grigg, Johns Hopkins School of Education, Reading on Grade Level: Perspective and Context from Baltimore [Paper] [Presentation Slides]

William Gormley, Georgetown University, The Effects of Tulsa's Pre-K Program on Middle School Student Performance [Abstract] [Presentation Slides]

Timothy Bartik, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research, Returns to Large-Scale Public School Pre-K Programs [Paper] [Presentation Slides]

Moderator: Prabal Chakrabarti, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Discussant: Rob Grunewald, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis 

Schools, Neighborhood Organizations, and Youth Well-Being

Daniel Tannenbaum, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Does School Quality Affect Neighborhood Formation? Evidence from a Redistricting Reform [Paper] [Presentation Slides]

Megan Gallagher, Urban Institute, Adding and Subtracting Schools: Examining School Change for Students and Communities [Annotated Presentation Slides]

Sarah Stoddard, University of Michigan, Exploring the Role of Community Assets in Youth Violence [Paper] [Presentation Slides]

Moderator: Theresa Singleton, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia 

Discussant: Ray Boshara, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis 

Child Poverty, Inequality, and Adult Outcomes

Caroline Ratcliffe, Urban Institute, Pathways out of Persistent Childhood Poverty [Presentation Slides]

Joanna Taylor, Brandeis University, K-12 Education as a Linchpin in Wealth Building Potential: An Exploration of School Effects on Wealth [Paper] [Presentation Slides]

William Emmons, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis,College Is Not Enough: Higher Education Does Not Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Wealth Gaps [Paper] [Presentation Slides]

Moderator: Todd Greene, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta 

Discussant: Ida Rademacher, Aspen Institute 

3:45 p.m. Transition time
4:00 p.m.

Plenary Session II: Shaping Economic Futures: The Role of Communities [Video of Live-Streamed Session]

Rebekah Levine Coley, Boston College [Presentation Slides]

Sandra Newman, Johns Hopkins University [Presentation Slides]

Erin Hardy, Brandeis University [Presentation Slides]

Martin Sanchez-Jankowski, University of California-Berkeley [Presentation Slides]

Moderator: Erika Poethig, Urban Institute

5:30 p.m.

Poster Session and Evening Reception [Downloadable List of Poster Presentations]


Available Posters:

Child Care Feeding Programs Support Young Children’s Healthy Development

Presenter: Stephanie Ettinger de Cuba, Boston University School of Public Health

The Geography of High-Quality Childcare: Estimating Local Supply, Demand, and Market Gaps to Support Data-Based, Mission-Related Investment in Philadelphia

Submitted by: Ira Goldstein, Reinvestment Fund

StreetCred: Economic Empowerment in Pediatric Primary Care

Presenter: Michael Hole, Boston Children’s Hospital and Boston Medical Center

Money Matters: How Financially Literate Are Our U.S. Teens?

Presenter: David Miller, American Institutes for Research

Raising Places: Building Child-Centered Communities

Presenters: Katie Wehr, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation; and Sarah Aye, Greater Good Studio

7:00 p.m. Day One Concludes


Friday, March 24

7:00 a.m. ET  Breakfast 
8:30 a.m. 

Welcome and Day Overview

Arturo Gonzalez, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System 

Michael Grover, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis 

Opening Remarks: President Charles Evans, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago [Video] (includes Welcome and Day Overview)

Introduced by Alicia Williams, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago 

9:00 a.m. 

Plenary Session III: Skill Development and Workforce Outcomes [Video]

Laurence Steinberg, Temple University No slides presented

Adriana Kugler, Georgetown University [Presentation Slides] 

Margaret Simms, Urban Institute [Presentation Slides]


Moderator: William Spriggs, Howard University

10:30 a.m. Break
11:00 a.m. 

Concurrent Sessions 3

Community Assets and the Opportunity Gap

Francisca Garcia-Cobian Richter, Case Western Reserve University, Temporal Effects of Distressed Housing on Early Childhood Risk Factors and Kindergarten Readiness [Paper] [Presentation Slides]

John Sipple, Cornell University, Caring for the Young: The Capacity of Communities in New York State to Care for Young Children [Paper] >[Presentation Slides]

Elaine Weiss, The Broader, Bolder Approach to Education, Education Inequities at the School Starting Gate: Conditions, Trends, and Strategies to Address Them [Paper] [Presentation Slides]

Moderator: Tammy Edwards, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City 

Discussant: Richard Todd, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis 

Housing and Neighborhoods: Place Effects on Educational Achievement

Scott Holupka, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health, Racial Disparities in Assisted Housing Environments for Children [Presentation Slides]

Elia De la Cruz Toledo, University of Chicago,The Geography of Opportunity: Developmental Trajectories of Children in Baltimore [Paper] [Presentation Slides]

Ariel Bierbaum, University of Maryland, The Burden of Choice: Assessing the Impact of Charter School Options on Household Travel Behavior in Philadelphia [Extended Abstract] [Presentation Slides]

Moderator: Sandra Tormoen, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond 

Discussant: Nancy Andrews, LIIF (Low Income Investment Fund)

Policy Interventions to Improve Child Outcomes 

David Rehkopf, Stanford University, The Effects of Anti-Poverty Tax Policy on Child and Adolescent BMI and Obesity [Paper] [Presentation Slides]

Peter Bergman, Teachers College, Columbia University, The Effects of School Integration: Evidence from a Randomized Desegregation Program [Paper] [Presentation Slides]

Stephen Cornman, U.S. Department of Education, State, District, and School-Level Finance Surveys,Do Equity and Adequacy Court Decisions and Policies Make a Difference for At-Risk Students following Abbott, Rose, McDuffy, and Hancock? Longitudinal Evidence from New Jersey [Paper] [Presentation Slides]

Moderator: David Erickson, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

Discussant: Ron Haskins, Brookings Institution 

12:30 p.m. 


Afternoon Keynote: Geoffrey Canada, Author and Inner-City Youth and Education Advocate; Founder of Harlem Children’s Zone [Video]

Introduced by Dorothy Bridges, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis 

Moderator: Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto, University of Texas; MSNBC Contributor 

2:00 p.m.

Closing Remarks: Anna Alvarez Boyd, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System< [Video]

2:30 p.m.  Adjournment


About the Infographics

Strong Foundations Infographic Posters

The 2017 Federal Reserve System Community Development Research Conference explored the intersections between child and youth development, community development, and economic well-being, with a particular focus on factors that affect low-income kids and communities. To help communicate some of the conference's key concepts, the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis worked with Burness Communications to develop a set of six infographics that depict the important roles that early childhood development and community development play in shaping economic opportunity.

We encourage other organizations working to improve outcomes for low-income individuals and communities to use these evidence-based infographics to further their own aims. The images are available for downloading in various formats below.

The academic research citations for the studies that provide supporting evidence for the key messages depicted are available here.

These infographics are protected by U.S. copyright law and are restricted to certain uses. Please see the usage guidelines below for more information.

Usage Guidelines

Each of the six infographics on this page is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License, which requires that your use of the infographics comply with the following terms:

  • No derivatives. You may not modify, remix, or build upon these images (including adding or subtracting text or logos).
  • Non-commercial use. You may not use these images for commercial purposes.
  • Attribution. If you use the images, you must credit the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and provide a link to the license above, and may not imply any endorsement by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

If you have questions about these usage terms, please email

Files for Downloading

Full Sets of the Six Infographics

High-resolution PDF, sized for printing 4.25 x 7.25-inch take-away cards. Download

High-resolution PDF, sized for printing 18 x 31-inch posters. Download

PowerPoint presentation slides, 4:3 aspect ratio. Download

PowerPoint presentation slides, 16:9 aspect ratio. Download

Individual Infographics

The six infographics are pictured below. To download any of them as an individual image:

PC users: Right-click on the image and select "Save picture as..."

Mac users: Control+click on the image and select "Save Image As..."

Brains Are Built Through Experiences
View full size

Early Investment in Kids Can Pay Off
View full size

Housing and School Success
View full size

Community Development Investments Matter
View full size

Valuable Skills Are Developed in Childhood
View full size

Achievement Gaps Start Early and Persist
View full size

Media and commentary

News coverage and blog posts about the conference.

News Coverage

Articles on Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s conference remarks

March 24, 2017

Fed Chair Janet Yellen Says an Unstable Childhood Makes It Harder to Succeed as an Adult

By Lucinda Shen, Fortune

March 23, 2017

Fed’s Yellen Sees Education as Key to Breaking Poverty Trap

By Christopher Condon, Bloomberg

March 23, 2017

Yellen says problems of childhood poverty linger

By Martin Crutsinger, Associated Press Newswires (Published by various news outlets; link provided is to the Star Tribune.)

March 23, 2017

Growing up poor makes it harder to succeed: Janet Yellen

By Patrick Gillespie, CNN Money

Articles on Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Neel Kashkari’s conference remarks

March 23, 2017

Fed’s Kashkari Calls for ‘Transformational Change' in U.S. Schools; Minneapolis Fed chief says the nation has failed at closing educational gaps

(Due to subscription requirements, this article might not display for all visitors)
By Kate Davidson, The Wall Street Journal Online

March 23, 2017

Fed’s Kashkari calls for changes to U.S. education system

By Lindsay Dunsmuir, Reuters

Blog Posts

July 14, 2017

Five Things That Matter, No Matter What

By Elizabeth DiLauro of ZERO TO THREE and Lauren Hogan of the National Association for the Education of Young Children. From the ZERO TO THREE blog page on Medium.

May 31, 2017

The nexus of community development and child development

By Rob Grunewald. From the Minneapolis Fed's CD360 Notebook blog.

May 12, 2017

Federal Reserve’s Conference Highlights How Investments in Children Translate to Economic Growth

From the ICIC blog.

May 4, 2017

High-Return Investments for America's Children

By Maya Brennan and Erika Peothig of the Urban Institute (UI). From UI’s How Housing Matters blog.

April 2017

The Economic Futures of Kids and Communities

By Kelly Nelson of Gary Community Investments (GCI). From GCI’s Shared Knowledge blog.

March 31, 2017

Federal Reserve Conference Focuses on Kids

By Diana Anderson of Southwest Initiative Foundation (SWIF). From SWIF’s Diana’s Blog.

March 27, 2017

CSAs as Part of a Comprehensive Child Development Strategy

By Shira Markoff of CFED. From CFED’s The Inclusive Economy blog.

March 24, 2017

The Smart Economics of Early Childhood Education

By the staff of Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity (SPO). From SPO's Spotlight Exclusives blog.


Featured Speakers (In order of appearance)

Janet Yellen

Chair, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Janet Yellen

Janet L. Yellen took office as chair of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in February 2014, for a four-year term ending in January 2018. Her term as a member of the Board of Governors will expire in January 2024. Yellen graduated summa cum laude from Brown University with a degree in economics in 1967. She received her doctorate in economics from Yale University in 1971. From 1971 to 1976, she was an assistant professor at Harvard University. From 1977 to 1978, she worked for the Board of Governors as an economist, before joining the faculty of the London School of Economics and Political Science (1978–80). Yellen is professor emeritus at the University of California at Berkeley, where she has been a faculty member since 1980. During her time there, she was also the Eugene E. and Catherine M. Trefethen Professor of Business and Professor of Economics.


Neel Kashkari

President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

Neel Kashkari

Neel Kashkari took office as president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis on January 1, 2016. In this role, he serves on the Federal Open Market Committee, bringing the Fed’s Ninth District’s perspective to monetary policy discussions in Washington. In addition to his responsibilities as a monetary policymaker, Kashkari oversees all operations of the bank, including supervision and regulation, and payments services.

Kashkari began his career as an aerospace engineer at TRW in Redondo Beach, Calif., where he developed technology for NASA space science missions. Following graduate school, he joined Goldman Sachs in San Francisco, where he helped technology companies raise capital and pursue strategic transactions.

From 2006 to 2009, Kashkari served in several senior positions at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. In 2008, he was confirmed as assistant secretary of the Treasury. In this role, he oversaw the Troubled Assets Relief Program during the financial crisis. Kashkari received the Alexander Hamilton Award, the Treasury Department’s highest honor for distinguished service.

Following his tenure in Washington, Kashkari returned to California in 2009 and joined PIMCO as managing director and member of the executive office. He left the firm in 2013 to explore returning to public service.

In January 2014, Kashkari was a gubernatorial candidate in the state of California, running on a platform focused on economic opportunity.

Kashkari earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and his MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.


Charles Evans

President and Chief Executive Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago

Charles Evans

Charles L. Evans is the ninth president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. In that capacity, he serves on the Federal Open Market Committee, the Federal Reserve System's monetary policymaking body. Before becoming president in September of 2007, Evans served as director of research and senior vice president, supervising the Bank's research on monetary policy, banking, financial markets, and regional economic conditions. Prior to that, Evans was a vice president and senior economist with responsibility for the macroeconomics research group. His personal research has focused on measuring the effects of monetary policy on U.S. economic activity, inflation, and financial market prices. It has been published in the Journal of Political Economy, American Economic Review, Journal of Monetary Economics, Quarterly Journal of Economics, and the Handbook of Macroeconomics. Evans has taught at the University of Chicago, the University of Michigan, and the University of South Carolina. He received a bachelor's degree in economics from the University of Virginia and a doctorate in economics from Carnegie-Mellon University in Pittsburgh.


Geoffrey Canada

Author and Inner-City Youth and Education Advocate; Founder of Harlem Children's Zone

Geoffrey Canada

In his 20-plus years with Harlem Children’s Zone, Inc., Geoffrey Canada has become nationally recognized for his pioneering work helping children and families in Harlem and as a passionate advocate for education reform.

Canada founded the Harlem Children’s Zone (HCZ), which The New York Times Magazine called “one of the most ambitious social experiments of our time.” In October 2005, Canada was named one of “America’s Best Leaders” by U.S. News and World Report. In 2014, he announced his retirement at the end of the school year, ensuring that he will continue to remain a passionate advocate for education and poverty issues.

In 1997, the agency launched the Harlem Children’s Zone Project, which targets a specific geographic area in Central Harlem with a comprehensive range of services. The Zone Project today covers nearly 100 blocks and has served more than 25,000 children and adults.

The New York Times Magazine said the Zone Project “combines educational, social, and medical services. It starts at birth and follows children to college. It meshes those services into an interlocking web, and then it drops that web over an entire neighborhood... The objective is to create a safety net woven so tightly that children in the neighborhood just can’t slip through.”

The work of Canada and HCZ has become a national model and has been the subject of many profiles in the media. Their work has been featured on 60 Minutes, The Oprah Winfrey Show, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Nightline, CBS This Morning, The Charlie Rose Show, and NPR’s “On Point,” as well in articles in The New York Times, The New York Daily News, USA Today, and Newsday. Most recently, Canada can be seen prominently featured in the Davis Guggenheim documentary Waiting for “Superman.”

Canada grew up in the South Bronx in a poor, sometimes violent neighborhood. Despite his troubled surroundings, he was able to succeed academically, receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bowdoin College and a master’s in education from the Harvard School of Education. After graduating from Harvard, Canada decided to work to help children who, like himself, were disadvantaged by their lives in poor, embattled neighborhoods.

Drawing upon his own childhood experiences and those at the Harlem Children’s Zone, he wrote Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America and Reaching Up for Manhood: Transforming the Lives of Boys in America. In its review of Fist Stick Knife Gun: A Personal History of Violence in America, Publishers Weekly said, “a more powerful depiction of the tragic life of urban children and a more compelling plea to end ‘America’s war against itself’ cannot be imagined.”

For his years of work advocating for children and families in some of America’s most devastated communities, Canada was a recipient of the first Heinz Award in 1994. In 2004, he was given the Harold W. McGraw Jr. Prize in Education and Child Magazine’s Children’s Champion Award.

Canada has also received the Heroes of the Year Award from the Robin Hood Foundation, The Jefferson Award for Public Service, the Spirit of the City Award from the Cathedral of St. John the Divine, the Brennan Legacy Award from New York University, and the Common Good Award from Bowdoin College. He has received honorary degrees from Harvard University, Bowdoin College, Williams College, John Jay College, Bank Street College, and Meadville Lombard Theological Seminary.

A third-degree black belt, Canada is also the founder (in 1983) of the Chang Moo Kwan Martial Arts School. Despite his busy schedule as head of HCZ, he continues to teach the principles of Tae Kwon Do to community youth along with anti-violence and conflict-resolution techniques.

In 2006, Canada was selected by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg as co-chair of the Commission on Economic Opportunity, which was asked to formulate a plan to significantly reduce poverty. In 2007, he was appointed co-chair of New York State Governor’s Children’s Cabinet Advisory Board.

Canada is also the East Coast Regional Coordinator for the Black Community Crusade for Children. The Crusade is a nationwide effort to make saving black children the top priority in the black community. This initiative is coordinated by Marian Wright Edelman and the Children’s Defense Fund.

Canada joined Harlem Children’s Zone, Inc. (then called the Rheedlen Foundation) in 1983 as its Education Director. Prior to that, he worked as Director of the Robert White School, a private day school for troubled inner-city youth in Boston.

The National Book Award-winning author Jonathan Kozol has called Canada, “One of the few authentic heroes of New York and one of the best friends children have, or ever will have, in our nation.”


Additional Speakers (In alphabetical order)

Anna Alvarez Boyd (Click for more information)

Nancy Andrews (Click for more information)

President and Chief Executive Officer, LIIF (Low Income Investment Fund)

Nancy Andrews

Nancy Andrews is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF), a Community Development Financial Institution that has invested $2 billion in community projects. LIIF’s investments have leveraged $9.7 billion in private capital for poor communities in 31 states across the U.S. and generated $53.8 billion in benefits for families and society. Ms. Andrews serves on numerous community development and environmental boards and committees, including Bank of America’s National Community Advisory Council, Morgan Stanley’s Community Development Advisory Committee, Capital One’s Community Advisory Council, the National Housing Law Project, and Rail~Volution. She was also previously a member of the Federal Reserve Board’s Consumer Advisory Council. Ms. Andrews’ 30 years in community development include positions as Deputy Director of the Ford Foundation’s Office of Program Related Investments and Chief Financial Officer of the International Water Management Institute, a World Bank-supported development organization. Ms. Andrews also consulted for the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Department of the Treasury during the Clinton administration. She received an M.S. in Urban Planning with a concentration in Real Estate Finance from Columbia University.


Timothy Bartik (Click for more information)

Senior Economist, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research

Timothy Bartik

Timothy Bartik is a Senior Economist at the W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research. His research focuses on state and local economic development and local labor markets. This research includes studies of how taxes and public services, such as education, affect local and national economies.


Eric Belsky (Click for more information)

Director, Division of Consumer and Community Affairs, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Eric Belsky

Dr. Eric S. Belsky, Ph.D., is director of the Division of Consumer and Community Affairs at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, which is dedicated to ensuring that the concerns of consumers and communities are represented at the Federal Reserve. He oversees the Federal Reserve’s work in consumer-focused supervision, research, and policy analysis, with the aim of promoting a fair and transparent consumer financial services marketplace.

Throughout his career, Dr. Belsky has conducted research on various housing and urban topics. He was managing director of the Joint Center for Housing Studies of Harvard University. He also served as director of Housing Finance Research at Fannie Mae and senior economist at the National Association of Home Builders. Dr. Belsky has lent his expertise to the Opportunity Finance Network, Affordable Housing Advisory Council of Fannie Mae, and the National Community Advisory Council of Bank of America. In 2001 and 2002, he served as research director for the bipartisan Millennial Housing Commission established by Congress.

Dr. Belsky has co-edited five books and authored numerous articles and book chapters, and has served on the editorial boards of the Journal of Housing Research and Housing Policy Debate. He holds a Ph.D., M.A., and B.A. from Clark University.


Peter Bergman (Click for more information)

Assistant Professor of Economics and Education, Teachers College, Columbia University

Peter Bergman

Peter Bergman is an Assistant Professor of Economics and Education at Teachers College, Columbia University. His research focuses on information problems in human capital development and using randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to find low-cost, scalable interventions that improve education outcomes.


Ariel Bierbaum (Click for more information)

Assistant Professor, Urban Studies and Planning Program, University of Maryland

Ariel Bierbaum

Ariel H. Bierbaum, Ph.D., MCP, is an Assistant Professor of the Urban Studies and Planning Program at the University of Maryland. Her research explores questions about the mutually constitutive relationship between metropolitan inequality, urban politics, planning practice, and public education. Her current projects focus on mass public school closures and neighborhood change, the effect of school choice on transportation planning, and school-level impacts of federal place-based anti-poverty and mixed income community development efforts. Previously, Dr. Bierbaum worked in the fields of community arts, community development, and public policy. Most recently, she served as the Research Specialist/Program Director at the University of California-Berkeley Center for Cities and Schools, a policy research and technical assistance center that works with policymakers to connect public education with local community development efforts, regional growth management strategies, and federal place-based programs. She also has served as adjunct faculty at the University of San Francisco. Dr. Bierbaum sits on the board of the 21st Century School Fund and is an advisor to Active Voice Labs. She holds a Ph.D. in City and Regional Planning from the University of California-Berkeley, a Master in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and a Bachelor of Arts in urban studies from the University of Pennsylvania.


Ray Boshara (Click for more information)

Senior Advisor and Director, Center for Household Financial Stability, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Ray Boshara

Ray Boshara is senior advisor and director of the Center for Household Financial Stability at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Before joining the Fed, Boshara was vice president of the New America Foundation, a think tank in Washington, D.C., where he started and directed programs promoting financial well-being, college savings, and a new social contract. He has testified several times before the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives. He has also worked for CFED, the United Nations in Rome, and the U.S. Congress. Boshara is the co-author of the book The Next Progressive Era, published in 2009. Boshara holds degrees from Ohio State University, Yale Divinity School, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.


Dorothy Bridges (Click for more information)

Senior Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

Dorothy Bridges

Dorothy Bridges is senior vice president responsible for community development, outreach and public affairs at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. She joined the bank in July 2011. Prior to that, she was president and CEO of City First Bank in Washington, D.C. She served in the same role at Franklin National Bank in Minneapolis from 1999 to 2008. Bridges has over 30 years of banking experience, much of it centered on local lending and development markets. Prior to joining Franklin National Bank, Bridges was a senior consultant for Barefoot, Marrinan & Associates, a bank regulatory compliance firm, where she focused on issues related to the Community Reinvestment Act and the Fair Lending Act. In 1995, Bridges joined the Community Reinvestment Fund, a private nonprofit corporation that securitizes economic development loans for secondary market investments. Bridges, who began her banking career in 1979, has served on the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis and as a member of the Federal Reserve System’s Consumer Advisory Council.


David Buchholz (Click for more information)

Deputy Associate Director, Division of Consumer and Community Affairs, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Dave Buchholz

David Buchholz serves as Deputy Associate Director of the Federal Reserve Board’s Division of Consumer and Community Affairs in Washington, DC. His responsibilities have included oversight of the division’s Consumer and Community Development Research, Information Management, and Policy Analysis units. He joined the Board in 2007. Previously, he was Director of Applied Research and Innovation at CFED (the Corporation for Enterprise Development), where he managed work on financial security, affordable housing, small business, and tax policy. He also served as Vice President at the Self-Help Ventures Fund, where he directed a $2 billion secondary market program that expanded responsible, affordable financing to low-income homebuyers. He was also Executive Director of Good Work, a North Carolina nonprofit providing loans and technical assistance to entrepreneurs. He holds a B.A. from Augustana College, and an M.A. and Ph.D. in Political Science from Duke University.


M. Caridad Araujo (Click for more information)

Lead Social Protection Economist, Social Protection and Health Division, Inter-American Development Bank

M. Caridad Araujo

M. Caridad Araujo is a Lead Social Protection Economist in the Social Protection and Health Division of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). Her work at the IDB has focused on early child development and on anti-poverty programs.


Prabal Chakrabarti (Click for more information)

Senior Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston

Prabal Chakrabarti

Prabal Chakrabarti is Senior Vice President at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in Regional and Community Outreach, with a mission to improve the economic well-being of low and moderate income people. He oversees department initiatives and staff with a focus on revitalizing smaller cities through the Working Cities Challenge (now operating in three states), improving household financial stability, and increasing employment opportunities. At the Boston Fed, he has written and presented on a range of community development topics such as the Community Reinvestment Act, housing, and small business. He also serves on the executive committee of the Bank.

Previously, Prabal was at the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City, where he led a research effort under Professor Michael Porter to measure economic competitiveness in America’s inner cities. He served in the U.S. Treasury in economic policy and he co-wrote a UNDP report Unleashing Entrepreneurship: Making Business Work for the Poor.

Prabal holds graduate degrees from MIT and Oxford University, where he was a Marshall Scholar, and a B.S. from the University of Illinois, where he was a Truman Scholar. He serves on the boards of the Children’s Investment Fund and the Nellie Mae Education Foundation.


Rajashri Chakrabarti (Click for more information)

Senior Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Rajashri Chakrabarti

Rajashri Chakrabarti is a senior economist in the Microeconomic Studies Function at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. Her primary areas of interest include labor economics, economics of education, and public economics. Her research focuses on credit access, educational investment decisions and future financial and economic outcomes, costs and returns to for-profit education, consumer debt, accountability and school choice, education finance, and econometric approaches to program evaluation. Prior to joining the New York Fed, Raji was a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard University in the John F. Kennedy School of Government's Program on Education Policy and Governance. She holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Cornell University.


Carrie Cihak (Click for more information)

Chief of Policy, Office of King County (Washington) Executive Dow Constantine

Carrie Cihak

Carrie S. Cihak is the Chief of Policy at the Office of King County (Washington) Executive Dow Constantine. As Chief of Policy for the highest-ranking elected official of the 13th-largest county in the United States, Cihak is responsible for identifying the highest-priority policy areas and community outcomes for leadership focus and for developing and launching innovative solutions to issues that are complex, controversial, and cross-sectoral. She serves as a member of the Executive’s leadership team and cabinet, and is a sponsor for the County’s nationally recognized work on equity and social justice. Prior to her work in Executive Constantine’s administration, Cihak served for eight years as a senior-level policy and budget analyst for the King County Council and as lead staff for the King County Board of Health. She is trained as a Ph.D.-level (ABD) economist specializing in Japan and served as staff economist on international trade and finance for President Clinton's Council of Economic Advisers.


Stephen Cornman (Click for more information)

Project Director, State, District, and School-Level Finance Surveys, U.S. Department of Education

Stephen Cornman

Stephen Q. Cornman is a statistician at the U.S. Department of Education, Institute for Education Sciences, NCES. He currently directs the National Public Education Financial Survey and the School District Finance Survey and is the founder of the School Level Finance Survey. He collects, analyzes, and reports on school finance data utilized for Title I allocations by the Department of Education. He is a former assistant research professor at Georgetown University and the administrator of the School Choice Demonstration Project. He is a public policy specialist with experience as the former chief of policy and planning for the largest county in New Jersey; Deputy Director of the Essex County, NJ, Improvement Authority; and policy/budget assistant to former Borough President Fernando Ferrer in New York City. He designed a community-based welfare-to-work system that reduced the welfare rolls from 32,000 to 16,000 people in Essex County. Cornman has professional degrees in public affairs and law and is a member of the District of Columbia Bar. He is a Columbia University MPA, a Thomas Jefferson School of Law JD, and a Columbia University doctoral candidate.


Daniel Max Crowley (Click for more information)

Assistant Professor, Pennsylvania State University

Daniel Max Crowley

Daniel Max Crowley is an Assistant Professor at Pennsylvania State University. He directs the Prevention Economic Planning and Research Labs within the Department of Human Development & Family Studies. His work is generally focused on preventing illness and criminal behavior through evidence-based investments in childhood and adolescence. This includes utilizing advanced analytic designs, administrative data, and technological solutions to optimize preventive strategies.


Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto (Click for more information)

Professor, University of Texas; MSNBC Contributor

Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto

Dr. Victoria M. DeFrancesco Soto is a political scientist providing political analysis on U.S. politics and its implications for countries abroad. Victoria is a contributor to MSNBC and as well as a regular political analyst for Telemundo. She has previously provided on-air analysis for CNN, Fox, PBS, Univision, and NPR, and has appeared on HBO’s Real Time with Bill Maher. Victoria is also widely published in both academic and popular outlets, such as POLITICO and Talking Points Memo. Through these different outlets, Victoria translates social science research into a more relatable form of information for a wide variety of audiences. Victoria received her Ph.D. from Duke University, during which time she was a National Science Foundation Fellow. She is currently a Professor at the University of Texas where she was selected as one of the University’s Game Changing faculty. Victoria teaches in the Department of Mexican-American and Latino Studies and is a Fellow at the Center for Politics and Governance at the LBJ School of Public Affairs. Named one of the top 12 scholars in the country by Diverse magazine, Victoria previously taught at Northwestern University and Rutgers. Victoria also holds an honorary Doctoral degree from Northeastern Illinois University, where she was privileged to serve as commencement speaker.


Elia De la Cruz Toledo (Click for more information)

Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Columbia Population Research Center, Columbia University; and Researcher, Chapin Hall, University of Chicago

Elia De La Cruz Toledo

Elia De la Cruz Toledo is a postdoctoral research scientist at Columbia Population Research Center at Columbia University and a researcher at Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. She received her Ph.D. in 2014 from Columbia University's School of Social Work with a specialization in social policy analysis. Dr. De la Cruz Toledo is currently working on analyzing the longitudinal effects of fathers' financial contributions on child well-being, and studying city-level differences in trajectories of boys’ and girls’ developmental outcomes, both overall and by race, focusing in the trajectories of youth in Baltimore.


Stefanie Deluca (Click for more information)

Associate Professor of Sociology, Johns Hopkins University

Stefanie Deluca

Stefanie Deluca is an Associate Professor of Sociology at Johns Hopkins University. She studies how social context (e.g., family, school, neighborhood, peers) affects the outcomes of disadvantaged young people, primarily in adolescence and at the transition to adulthood. Using interdisciplinary frameworks and multiple methodologies to examine these issues, her current research focuses on the sociology of education, urban sociology, neighborhoods and social inequality in the life course. She has recently published Coming of Age in the Other America, with Susan Clampet-Lundquist and Katherine Edin, which describes the triumphs and challenges of youth in Baltimore at the brink of adulthood.


Tammy Edwards (Click for more information)

Vice President of Community Affairs, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City

Tammy Edwards

Tammy Edwards is vice president of Community Affairs in the Regional, Public, and Community Affairs Division at the Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City. Ms. Edwards joined the Bank in 2008 as assistant vice president and community affairs officer. Prior to joining the Bank, she held several leadership positions at Sprint Corporation. Ms. Edwards broadened her scope of responsibilities in 2015 to include strategic stakeholder engagement. In addition to her professional life, she is a very active member of the community. Tammy Edwards holds a B.B.A. in Marketing and an M.B.A. in Finance from the University of Missouri–Kansas City.


William Emmons (Click for more information)

Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Bio not available.


David Erickson (Click for more information)

Community Development Director and Community Affairs Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco

David Erickson

David J. Erickson is director of Community Development at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco and serves as Community Development Officer for the Federal Reserve’s Twelfth District. In this role, he leads the Community Development team toward its mission to advance economic opportunity for lower-income Americans. Erickson launched and now advises the Federal Reserve journal Community Development Investment Review and previously served as research manager for the Center for Community Development Investments, where he fostered initiatives exploring innovative community development financing models and greater intersections with the health, arts, and environmental sectors to identify new investible opportunities that benefit lower-income communities. Erickson helped to lead the collaboration between the Federal Reserve and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation to bring together the health and community development fields. To date, this partnership has resulted in over 26 conferences around the country and numerous publications, including a cluster of articles in Health Affairs in November 2011. Erickson’s book on the history of community development, The Housing Policy Revolution: Networks and Neighborhoods, was published in 2009 by the Urban Institute Press. He also co-edited Investing in What Works for America’s Communities: Essays on People, Place, and Purpose (2012), What Counts: Harnessing Data for America’s Communities (2014), and What It’s Worth: Strengthening the Financial Future of Families, Communities, and the Nation (2015). In addition to Health Affairs, he has had articles published in Pediatrics and the Journal of Policy History. Erickson has a Ph.D. in history from the University of California, Berkeley, with a focus on economic history and public policy. He also holds a master’s degree in public policy from Berkeley and an undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College.


Megan Gallagher (Click for more information)

Senior Research Associate, Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center, Urban Institute

Megan Gallagher

Bio not available.


Francisca García-Cobián Richter (Click for more information)

Assistant Research Professor, Case Western Reserve University

Francisca Garcia-Cobian Richter

Francisca García-Cobián Richter is an Assistant Research Professor at the Jack, Joseph, and Morton Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences, Case Western Reserve University. Her work focuses on the processes, policies, and interventions that influence social welfare. Francisca’s current work is centered on children’s outcomes when exposed to distressed neighborhoods and housing, as well as potential interventions to address these challenges. She is also involved in the evaluation of a social investment bond experiment that aims to improve outcomes for families in the foster care system whose caregivers face severe housing instability. Other ongoing areas of research include predictive modeling for health interventions, low-income housing programs, mobility in low-income neighborhoods, and neighborhood effects.

Francisca is also associate director and founder of the Math Corps Cleveland, a branch of Wayne State University’s highly successful program for underserved middle and high-school students, providing academic enrichment and near-peer mentorship in a community-oriented setting.


Gregory Gilpin (Click for more information)

Associate Professor of Economics and Interim Department Head, Montana State University

Gregory Gilpin

Gregory Gilpin is an Associate Professor of Economics and Interim Department Head at Montana State University. He earned his Ph.D. in Economics from Indiana University in 2009. Greg is passionate about researching the teacher labor market and education policy, and has also extensively studied the economics of public libraries. Along with his colleague Anton Bekkerman, he has examined the effects of Internet growth on U.S. public library use and has worked with the Montana State Library to help improve Montana libraries' high-speed Internet access and outreach. He has published in some of the most prestigious economics field journals, including the Journal of Public Economics, the Journal of Urban Economics, and the Economics of Education Review. He recently was awarded a National Leadership Grant.


Arturo Gonzalez (Click for more information)

Section Chief, Division of Consumer and Community Affairs, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System

Arturo Gonzalez

Arturo Gonzalez is the Chief of the Consumer and Community Development Research section at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Prior to joining the Board of Governors, he was an economist at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. Before entering federal service, he was a consultant at Ernst & Young, a research fellow at the Public Policy Institute of California, and a tenured associate professor at the University of Arizona. He has held visiting professor posts at Universidad Carlos III de Madrid and University of Colorado at Denver. His research interests include the acquisition of human capital by low-skilled workers and immigrants, and housing markets in low- and moderate-income communities. Aside from publishing articles in economics journals, he is also the author of Mexican Americans and the U.S. Economy: Quest for Buenos Días. Arturo received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Santa Barbara.


William Gormley (Click for more information)

Professor of Public Policy, Georgetown University

William Gormley

William Gormley is a University Professor and Professor of Public Policy at Georgetown University. His research interests include government performance and how to measure it, functional and dysfunctional bureaucratic control mechanisms, and children and public policy. For 15 years, Gormley has served as principal investigator for the Tulsa pre-K project, a landmark investigation of one of the nation’s most prominent universal pre-K programs. The Tulsa pre-K research project has received considerable publicity, from the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, NPR, CBS News, the PBS News Hour, and other news outlets. Gormley has written on the relative merits of different “issue frames” for advancing children’s programs in the U.S. (Voices for Children: Rhetoric and Public Policy, the Brookings Institution Press, 2012). His most recent book is The Critical Advantage: Developing Critical Thinking Skills in School (Harvard Education Press, 2017). In this book, he argues that critical thinking instruction, if handled adeptly and if implemented in multiple classrooms, can promote college readiness, career readiness, and civic readiness. For more on Gormley’s research, see


Todd Greene (Click for more information)

Vice President and Community Affairs Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta

Todd Greene

Todd Greene is vice president and leads the community and economic development department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. Greene has oversight for research, policy, and outreach initiatives that promote inclusive economic growth with a focus on small business, housing, community and economic development finance, and human capital and workforce development in all or portions of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee. At a national level, Greene leads the Federal Reserve System’s human capital/workforce development working group in the community development function. He has published and presented on various economic and workforce development related topics and is the coeditor of the recent book Transforming U.S. Workforce Development Policies for the 21st Century.

Greene earned his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and holds master's degrees from Washington University and Georgia State University. He has completed executive education programs at Stanford University Graduate School of Business and Universidad ESAN (Lima, Peru). Greene is on the board of directors and is a member of the governance committee of the International Economic Development Council, is vice chairman of the Atlanta CareerRise Leadership Council, and is a member and past chairman of the Georgia Economic Developers Association. He currently serves on the Augusta University Board of Visitors and the board of directors for the Georgia Early Education Alliance for Ready Students (GEEARS), and is a member of the Southern Economic Development Council. Greene is an alumnus of the 2003 Leadership Buckhead, 2009 Leadership Georgia, and 2011 Leadership Atlanta programs.


Jeffrey Grigg (Click for more information)

Assistant Professor, Center for Social Organization of Schools and Baltimore Education Research Consortium, Johns Hopkins School of Education

Jeffrey Grigg

Jeffrey Grigg is an assistant professor affiliated with the Center for Social Organization of Schools and Baltimore Education Research Consortium (BERC) at the Johns Hopkins School of Education. He recently completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship with BERC and the Science Achievement in Baltimore Elementary Schools project. His research interests include student mobility and transitions, intergenerational inequality, student non-cognitive skills, teacher professional development, and causal inference in real-world settings.


Michael Grover (Click for more information)

Assistant Vice President and Community Affairs Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

Michael Grover

Michael Grover is an Assistant Vice President and the Community Affairs Officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. He leads the Minneapolis Reserve Bank’s Community Development efforts in the Ninth Federal Reserve District. Grover joined the Bank in August 2003 as a community development researcher after spending several years as a labor market analyst for the state of Minnesota’s Health and Employment and Economic Development departments. He has conducted research and published articles on affordable housing, community development corporations, homeownership disparities, and foreclosure patterns and mitigation efforts. Grover is currently on the board of HousingLink, an affordable rental housing intermediary that serves the Twin Cities. He holds a Ph.D. in urban studies from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee.


Rob Grunewald (Click for more information)

Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

Rob Grunewald

Rob Grunewald is an economist with the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Grunewald conducts research on community development and regional economic issues. He co-authored Early Childhood Development: Economic Development with a High Public Return in 2003 and has written several subsequent articles on the economic and social impact of early learning. He frequently speaks to community and business leaders, policymakers, and media throughout the United States.

Grunewald has served on boards and advisory committees for organizations involved with early childhood development, including Think Small: Leaders in Early Learning, First Children’s Finance, and the Minnesota Visiting Nurse Agency. He is also a past president of the Minnesota Economic Association. He holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and religion from St. Olaf College and a master’s degree in applied economics from the University of Minnesota.


Erin Hardy (Click for more information)

Research Fellow with Project, Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University

Erin Hardy

Erin Hardy is a Fellow at the Institute for Child, Youth, and Family Policy at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management at Brandeis University. In her current role, Erin serves as Principal Investigator for Child-Focused Community Profiles of WKKF Priority Areas, a data research project for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. Erin also serves as Research Director and Co-Investigator for the Project, which is focused on using data to advance child well-being and racial/ethnic equity. She also serves as Co-Principal Investigator for the Evaluation of the Child Care Voucher Eligibility Reassessment Policy Change in Massachusetts 2013 Child Care Research Partnership Grant sponsored by the Office of Planning, Research, and Evaluation, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Erin’s content and methodological expertise is in (i) how racial/ethnic stratification shapes children’s developmental contexts (neighborhoods, educational settings), access to opportunities, and outcomes; and relatedly, (ii) how to account for these connections in the analysis and development of U.S. social policies. Her work has a strong quantitative focus that blends a combination of measurement, evaluation, spatial statistics/geographic information systems, and mixed-methods research expertise. Prior to joining Brandeis, Erin worked as a Fellow for the Achievement Gap Initiative at Harvard University and as a Research Associate for RTI International, conducting evaluation work for a federally funded, community-based family strengthening initiative. Early in her career, Erin spent half a decade working in corporate and public finance investment banking serving Midwest private and public sector clients. Erin earned a Master of Science in Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a BA in Government and Economics at Wesleyan University in Connecticut.


Ron Haskins (Click for more information)

Senior Fellow, Brookings Institution

Ron Haskins

Bio not available.


Scott Holupka (Click for more information)

Senior Research Associate, Center on Housing, Neighborhoods, and Communities, Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health

Scott Holupka

C. Scott Holupka, Ph.D., is a Senior Research Associate at the Center on Housing, Neighborhoods, and Communities (CHNC) in the Institute for Health and Social Policy at the Johns Hopkins University Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Holupka is a sociologist with nearly 30 years of research and evaluation experience. Prior to joining CHNC in 2007, he was a Senior Research Associate at Westat and, before that, a Senior Research Associate at Vanderbilt University’s Center for Evaluation and Program Improvement. He has been responsible for developing, designing, and supervising data collection procedures for several longitudinal multisite studies; performing statistical analyses; and preparing reports and presentations. Since joining CHNC, Dr. Holupka has analyzed numerous large, complex, longitudinal databases including the Panel Study of Income Dynamics, the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth, Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing, the Consumer Expenditure Survey, and the American Housing Survey. Dr. Holupka has published and presented extensively in the areas of housing and homelessness, and on such methodological issues as the challenges analyzing longitudinal data and the use of propensity scores. Recent peer-reviewed journal publications appear in Real Estate Economics, Housing Policy Debate, Journal of Housing Economics, Health Affairs, and American Journal of Community Psychology.


Aranthan (AJ) Jones II (Click for more information)

Chief of Staff, W.K. Kellogg Foundation


Aranthan "AJ" Jones II is chief of staff at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan. In this role, AJ works with the president and CEO to ensure alignment and advancement of grantmaking investments across the organization. He is also responsible for the execution of the foundation’s policy, communications, knowledge management, and analytic strategies. As an officer of the foundation, Jones serves as a key spokesperson on behalf of the organization and works in coordination with the president and CEO and the executive leadership team on the foundation’s portfolio/grantee investments and operations. Additionally, he is responsible for establishing and managing public-private partnerships and serves as the primary interface with multilateral institutions, global and domestic investment agencies, corporations, public/private philanthropies, and governments. Prior to joining the foundation, Jones served as the head of worldwide government affairs for Gilead Sciences, a leading biotech company. At Gilead, he led a global team to develop, advance, and engage public policy and regulatory systems to expand access and pharmaceutical innovation. Jones also previously served as health practice chairman and principal at the Podesta Group in Washington, D.C., where he was lead strategist and public policy consultant for Fortune 500 companies, national nonprofits, and global foundations. Jones holds bachelor’s degrees in sociology and anthropology from Iowa State University and received his graduate training in international health policy with concentrations in economic development and finance from George Washington University’s School of Public Health and Health Services.


Claire Kramer Mills (Click for more information)

Assistant Vice President and Community Affairs Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of New York

Claire Kramer Mills

Claire Kramer Mills is an Assistant Vice President and Community Affairs Officer at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. She leads the Bank’s analytic work on community development issues, with a focus on consumer and small business finances. In 2010, she spearheaded an effort to gather intelligence on small business financing, leading to the creation of the Fed’s Small Business Credit Survey—a partnership of 12 Federal Reserve Banks. Prior to joining the Bank in 2009, Ms. Kramer Mills worked in the Financial Services Practice of CEB, a research and strategy firm in Washington, D.C., that serves Fortune 500 companies.

Ms. Kramer Mills holds a Ph.D. in political science from Duke University, and graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s in government from Franklin & Marshall College. Her graduate research focused on international trade and competitiveness.


Adriana Kugler (Click for more information)

Professor and Vice Provost for Faculty, Georgetown University

Adriana Kugler

Dr. Adriana Kugler is a Full Professor at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University. Dr. Kugler earned her Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley and a B.A. in Economics and Political Science from McGill University with first class honors. Prior to coming to Georgetown, she was Full and Associate Professor at the economics departments at the University of Houston and at University Pompeu Fabra in Barcelona. Her primary research and teaching interests include labor markets and policy evaluation. Her work includes contributions on the role of labor regulations, unemployment, and immigration. Her contribution on the impact of policies and regulations was recognized with the 2007 John T. Dunlop Outstanding Scholar Award from the Labor and Employment Relations Association. Her work has been published in a variety of top general interest and specialized journals, including the American Economic Review, the Review of Economics and Statistics, the American Economic Journal: Applied, the Economic Journal, the Journal of Labor Economics, the Journal of Public Economics, Economic Development and Cultural Change and the Journal of Development Economics. She is a Research Associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and Research Fellow of the Center for Economic Policy Research, Institute for the Study of Labor, Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration, and the Center for the Study of Poverty and Inequality at Stanford University and at the Center for American Progress. Dr. Kugler was Chief Economist at the U.S. Department of Labor in 2011 and 2012 and Vice Provost for Faculty at Georgetown University between 2013 and 2016. Dr. Kugler was an elected member of the Executive Committee of the European Association of Labor Economists and is currently an elected member of the Executive Committee of the Latin American and Caribbean Economic Association.


Alessia Leibert (Click for more information)

Research Project Manager, Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development

Alessia Leibert

Alessia Leibert is a Project Manager for the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development. She has led the Minnesota Hiring Difficulties Survey and the Workforce Data Quality Initiative grant project of the U.S. Department of Labor. She is an expert in the analysis of employment outcomes of post-secondary graduates, occupational hiring demand, and database development. She has a bachelor's and master's degree in economic history from the University of Rome, Italy, and a master's degree in public affairs from the Humphrey Institute at the University of Minnesota.


Andrea Levere (Click for more information)

President, CFED (Corporation for Enterprise Development)

Andrea Levere

Andrea Levere has led the Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED) as its president since 2004. CFED is a private nonprofit organization with the mission of building assets and expanding economic opportunity for low-income people and disadvantaged communities through financial inclusion and capability, matched savings, entrepreneurship, and affordable housing. Prior to joining CFED in 1992, she was a director with the National Development Council. At NDC, she was a lead trainer for the Economic Development Finance Certification Program and designed and conducted “Taking Care of Business,” a financial management program for entrepreneurs, while also working with cities and states to structure financing for small businesses, affordable housing, and urban development projects. In 2016, the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System appointed Ms. Levere to its Community Advisory Council. Ms. Levere holds a bachelor’s degree from Brown University and an MBA from Yale University. In 2001, she received the Alumni Recognition Award from the Yale School of Management and in 2008 was named to the inaugural class of its Donaldson Fellows Program, which recognizes alumni who help educate business and society leaders.


Rebekah Levine Coley (Click for more information)

Professor of Counseling, Developmental, and Educational Psychology, Boston College

Rebekah Levine Coley

Rebekah Levine Coley is a Professor of Counseling, Developmental, and Educational Psychology at Boston College. Her research focuses on delineating the key family, school, and community processes that transmit economic and social inequality to children’s and adolescents’ development. She uses longitudinal, multi-method, and evaluation methodologies to inform social and educational policies at the local, state, and federal level. She earned her Ph. D in Development Psychology at the University of Michigan.


Roy Lopez (Click for more information)

Community Development Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas

Roy Lopez

Roy Lopez leads the Dallas Fed’s community development function, promoting economic growth and financial stability for low- and moderate-income communities through resources and innovative ideas that connect them to opportunities in the mainstream economy. He originally joined the Dallas Fed in 2005 in the Community Development Department. His responsibilities included strategic planning, management, and implementation of outreach programs across the Eleventh Federal Reserve District. He returned to the Dallas Fed after working as a community development banker for Capital One Bank. He managed the bank’s external relationships, community development philanthropy, and high-impact Community Reinvestment Act programs in the Dallas-Fort Worth market. Lopez serves on several nonprofit boards, including the Center for Nonprofit Management, Fair Park Foundation, RAISE Texas and Navicore Solutions. He is a 2015 Presidential Leadership Scholar, a designation awareded through a leadership development initiative in conjunction with the presidential centers of George W. Bush and William J. Clinton. He is also a member of the University of Texas at Arlington’s Financial Capability Board and the University of Texas at Arlington president’s Hispanic Advisory Council. He is a graduate of Texas A&M University and has a master’s degree from Trinity University in San Antonio.


Katherine Magnuson (Click for more information)

Professor, School of Social Work, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Katherine Magnuson

Bio not available.


Anusha Nath (Click for more information)

Economist, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

Anusha Nath

Anusha Nath joined the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis as an economist in 2016. She has taught at Boston University, Delhi University, and the University of Minnesota, where she is currently an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Economics. Anusha’s current research focuses on applied microeconomics, development economics, and political economy. Her work has been featured in The Economist, Economic and Political Weekly, and Brookings India Policy Forum. Anusha holds B.A. and M.A. degrees in economics from Delhi University and a Ph.D. in economics from Boston University.


Sandra Newman (Click for more information)

Professor of Policy Studies, Johns Hopkins University; Director, Center on Housing, Neighborhoods, and Communities, Hopkins Institute for Health and Social Policy, Bloomberg School of Public Health

Sandra Newman

Sandra Newman, Ph.D., is Professor of Policy Studies at Johns Hopkins University and director of the Center on Housing, Neighborhoods, and Communities at the Hopkins Institute for Health and Social Policy, Bloomberg School of Public Health. She holds joint professorial appointments with the departments of Sociology and Health Policy and Management and is a faculty associate of the Hopkins Population Center.

Newman's interdisciplinary research focuses on the effects of housing and neighborhoods on children and families, and on the dynamics of neighborhood change. Her current research includes studies of the effects of key housing attributes, such as affordability, tenure (owning versus renting), receipt of housing subsidies on the life outcomes of children and adults, and the demographic transformation in Baltimore neighborhoods over the last three decades. She is co-directing a longitudinal mixed-methods study, including an experimental intervention, of the role of housing in children's lives. Newman has written numerous articles and several books including Low-End Rental Housing (2005); Housing and Mental Illness (2001); The Home Front: The Implications of Welfare Reform for Housing Policy (1999); and Beyond Bricks and Mortar (1992, with A. Schnare). She is on the editorial boards of The Journal of Policy Analysis and Management and Housing Policy Debate.

Newman is a member of the research advisory board of the German Marshall Fund-U.S. Urban and Regional Policy Fellowship Program and the research advisory board of the National Low-Income Housing Coalition. She is also a past vice president of the Association of Public Policy and Management.

Newman received her Ph.D. degree from the predecessor of the Wagner School of Public Service of New York University.


Amy Peterson (Click for more information)

Student, St. Catherine University

Bio not available.


Erika Poethig (Click for more information)

Institute Fellow and Director of Urban Policy Initiatives, Urban Institute

Erika Poethig

Bio not available.


Ida Rademacher (Click for more information)

Executive Director, Financial Security Program, Aspen Institute

Bio not available.


Caroline Ratcliffe (Click for more information)

Senior Fellow and Economist, Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population, Urban Institute

Caroline Ratcliffe

Caroline Ratcliffe is a senior fellow and economist in the Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population at the Urban Institute. An expert on asset building and poverty, she has published and spoken extensively on poverty, the role of emergency savings, consumer use of alternative financial sector products, and welfare programs and policies. She has evaluated programs aimed at moving low-income families into the financial mainstream and has studied how welfare programs and policies affect families' economic well-being. Ratcliffe’s research has been published in numerous academic journals and she published a chapter in the Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Poverty, “Is Poverty Incompatible with Asset Accumulation?” She has testified before the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture and the District of Columbia’s City Council on implications of persistent child poverty. She also provided testimony to the U.S. Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee on closing the racial wealth gap. Her work has been cited in elite media outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal, and The Economist, and she has appeared on C-SPAN, NPR, and Marketplace. Ratcliffe has also been a visiting associate professor at Georgetown University. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from Cornell University.


David Rehkopf (Click for more information)

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Stanford University

David Rehkopf

David Rehkopf is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Stanford University. The aim of his research is to understand the relative importance of multiple hypothesized mechanisms and processes linking income and work with chronic disease.


Arthur Reynolds (Click for more information)

Professor, Institute of Child Development, and Co-Director, Human Capital Research Collaborative, University of Minnesota

Arthur Reynolds

Bio not available.


Arthur Rolnick (Click for more information)

Senior Fellow and Co-Director, Human Capital Research Collaborative, Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota

Arthur Rolnick

Arthur J. Rolnick is a Senior Fellow and Co-Director of the Human Capital Research Collaborative at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, the University of Minnesota. Rolnick is working to advance multidisciplinary research on child development and social policy. He previously served at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis as a senior vice president and director of research and as an associate economist with the Federal Open Market Committee—the monetary policymaking body for the Federal Reserve System. Rolnick’s essays on public policy issues have gained national attention; his research interests include banking and financial economics, monetary policy, monetary history, the economics of federalism, and the economics of education. His work on early childhood development has garnered numerous awards, including those from the George Lucas Educational Foundation and the Minnesota Department of Health, both in 2007; he was also named 2005 Minnesotan of the Year by Minnesota Monthly magazine.

In addition to his role as a Senior Fellow at Humphrey School for Public Affairs, Dr. Rolnick is an adjunct professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Minnesota. He has also been a visiting professor of economics at Boston College, the University of Chicago, and Lingnan College, Guangzhou, China. He is past president of the Minnesota Economic Association. He serves on several nonprofit boards including the Minnesota Early Learning Foundation, Greater Twin Cities United Way, and Ready 4 K, an advocacy organization for early childhood development.


Martin Sanchez-Jankowski (Click for more information)

Professor of Sociology; Director, Institute for the Study of Societal Issues; and Chair, Center for Ethnographic Research; University of California-Berkeley

Martin Jankowski

Martin Sanchez-Jankowski directs the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues and is Chair of the Center for Ethnographic Research at the University of California-Berkeley. His research has focused on inequality in advanced and developing societies with a particular interest in the sociology of poverty. He has done field work with gangs, in poor neighborhoods, schools, and the illicit underground economy, and is currently engaged in a ten-year study of social change among indigenous peoples in India, the Fiji Islands, and the U.S.


Amy Ellen Schwartz (Click for more information)

Professor, Maxwell School, Syracuse University

Amy Ellen Schwartz

Amy Ellen Schwartz (Ph.D. Economics, Columbia University) is the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Chair in Public Affairs at the Maxwell School at Syracuse University. Her research interests span a broad range of issues in education policy, urban economics, and public finance. Previous work has considered infrastructure investment and economic growth; the impact of public interventions (such as housing investment, business improvement districts, or charter schools) on property values; intergovernmental aid; and the consequences of education reform. Current projects include an investigation of the impact of summer jobs on youth outcomes; the impact of neighborhood crime on student performance; the link between neighborhoods, schools, and child obesity; and the impact of housing vouchers on residential location decisions and children’s educational outcomes. Professor Schwartz’s work has been published in a range of journals, including The American Economic Review, Journal of Urban Economics, The Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, and Education Finance and Policy. Her research has been funded through grants from federal agencies, such as the Institute for Education Sciences, the National Science Foundation, and National Institutes of Health; and foundations, including the Spencer Foundation, MacArthur Foundation, and William T. Grant Foundation. In 2009, she served as the President of the Association for Education Finance and Policy and is currently on the editorial board of Regional Science and Urban Economics and the Editor of Education Finance and Policy.


Jack Shonkoff (Click for more information)

Director, Center on the Developing Child, Harvard University; and Julius B. Richmond FAMRI Professor of Child Health and Development at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital

Jack Shonkoff

Jack P. Shonkoff, M.D., is the Julius B. Richmond FAMRI Professor of Child Health and Development at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Harvard Graduate School of Education; Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School and Boston Children’s Hospital; and Director of the university-wide Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University. He currently serves as chair of the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child, a group of distinguished scholars whose mission is to bring credible science to bear on public policy affecting young children, and chairs the JPB Research Network on Toxic Stress, which is developing new knowledge and measurement capacity to assess the biological, bio-behavioral, and health consequences of excessive stress system activation. In 2011, Dr. Shonkoff launched Frontiers of Innovation, a multi-sectoral collaboration among researchers, practitioners, policymakers, investors, and experts in systems change who are committed to developing more effective intervention strategies to catalyze breakthrough impacts on the development and health of young children and families experiencing significant adversity.


Margaret Simms (Click for more information)

Fellow, Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population, Urban Institute

Margaret Simms

Margaret Simms is an Institute fellow in the Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population at the Urban Institute, where she directs the Low-Income Working Families project. A nationally recognized expert on the economic well-being of African Americans, her current work focuses on low-income families, with an emphasis on employment and asset building. Simms holds a BA in economics from Carleton College and a Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University.


Theresa Singleton (Click for more information)

Vice President and Community Affairs Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia

Theresa Singleton

Theresa Singleton is vice president in the Community Development Studies and Education Department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia and the Bank's Community Affairs Officer. Singleton is responsible for overseeing research and outreach initiatives that promote community development and fair and impartial access to credit. She also oversees economic education and personal financial efforts for the Bank.

Before joining the Bank, Singleton served as director of research and information at the Housing Assistance Council in Washington, D.C. In that role, she was responsible for the organization's research and information activities, including oversight of the communications and public relations functions. She also developed and managed the council's research agenda. In addition, she directed and contributed to research and information products that examined demographic trends, assessed policy impacts, and developed recommendations for rural communities.

Prior to her work on rural housing issues, Singleton taught undergraduate courses on the American political system at Temple University and Widener University. She has Ph.D., M.A., and B.A. degrees in political science from Temple University.


John Sipple (Click for more information)

Associate Professor, Department of Development Sociology, Cornell University

John Sipple

John W. Sipple, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Development Sociology at Cornell University. Additionally, he serves as Director of the New York State Center for Rural Schools and Co-Faculty Director of Cornell’s Community and Regional Development Institute. Prof. Sipple`s research analyzes the implementation of education and social policies on local communities and their public schools. He is currently studying the impact of state and federal policies (e.g., finance and staffing, shared municipal services, PreKindergarten, school-based health) on rural communities. He has published broadly in academic journals, for more popular audiences, and at numerous regional, national, and international conferences. He earned his B.A. from Dartmouth College, an M.Ed. from the University of Virginia and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan.


Yvonne Sparks (Click for more information)

Assistant Vice President and Community Affairs Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis

Yvonne Sparks

Yvonne Sparks directs the Community Development function of the Eighth Federal Reserve District. She is responsible for strategic planning and implementation of Community Development department initiatives. Sparks has nearly 30 years of experience as a professional nonprofit organization executive, community development banker, public engagement consultant, and trainer of nonprofit executives and board members. Her experience spans the public, private, and nonprofit sectors. Sparks’ volunteer and civic involvement includes serving as chair during a three-year term on the Consumer Advisory Council of the Federal Reserve System’s Board of Governors. She has had other Federal Reserve System assignments and has served on the boards of directors of numerous nonprofits and public commissions. She currently serves on the advisory boards of the Creative Exchange Lab, an incubator for architecture and design entrepreneurs; Mission Center L3C, a social problems think tank; and the United Way of St. Louis’ Individual Development Account initiative. Sparks has master’s degrees in public administration from St. Louis University and in management and leadership from the George Herbert Walker School of Business and Technology at Webster University. Her bachelor’s degree is in administration of justice from the University of Missouri-St. Louis.


William Spriggs (Click for more information)

Professor and Chair, Department of Economics, Howard University

William Spriggs

William Spriggs is a Professor of Economics at Howard University and currently serves as Chief Economist to the AFL-CIO, where he also chairs the Economic Policy Working Group for the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. Spriggs served as Assistant Secretary for the Office of Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor from 2009 to 2012. He has held several positions in senior economic policy roles including at the SBA, the U.S. Department of Commerce, and as an economist with the Democratic Staff of the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress.


Laurence Steinberg (Click for more information)

Distinguished Professor of Psychology, Temple University

Laurence Steinberg

Laurence Steinberg is a Distinguished University Professor of Psychology at Temple University. An internationally recognized expert on psychological development during adolescence, Dr. Steinberg has focused his research on a range of topics in the study of contemporary adolescence, including adolescent brain development, risk-taking and decision-making, parent-adolescent relationships, school-year employment, high school reform, and juvenile justice.


Sarah Stoddard (Click for more information)

Assistant Professor, School of Nursing, University of Michigan

Sarah Stoddard

Sarah Stoddard is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing with a joint appointment in the Department of Health Behavior and Health Education, School of Public Health at the University of Michigan. Her research focuses on understanding how social and environmental factors influence the future orientation, behavior, and health of at-risk urban youth. She is currently funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse to study the role place-based factors play in the co-occurrence of violence and alcohol and drug use among youth. In addition, she studies the application of behavioral and ecological approaches to preventing youth violence and alcohol and drug use. Dr. Stoddard’s career has focused on promoting the health and well-being of youth living in communities characterized by substantial health and social disparities, and includes professional experience as a local public health nurse focused on maternal-child health, a nurse practitioner in community- and school-based clinics, and the State Adolescent Health Coordinator for the Minnesota Department of Health. She has an M.S. and Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota and a B.S. in nursing from Minnesota State University–Mankato.

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Daniel Tannenbaum (Click for more information)

Assistant Professor of Economics, University of Nebraska-Lincoln

Daniel Tannenbaum

Daniel I. Tannenbaum is an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL). He earned his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Chicago in 2014. Prior to his appointment at UNL, he was a postdoctoral scholar at the Becker Friedman Institute for Research in Economics at the University of Chicago. His research interests include labor, behavioral, and experimental economics.


Joanna Taylor (Click for more information)

Doctoral Candidate, Brandeis University

Joanna Taylor

Joanna Taylor is a doctoral candidate in social policy at Brandeis University. Her dissertation work focuses on school discipline policy and her academic interests include intersectionality, juvenile justice reform, the racial wealth gap, and shifting racial/ethnic identities. Before attending Brandeis, Ms. Taylor was a teacher in the Boston Public Schools for five years and holds an M.Ed. through the Boston Teacher Residency. She also worked as the director of an afterschool program at a low-income housing development in Boston.


Richard Todd (Click for more information)

Vice President, Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis

Richard Todd

Richard M. Todd is a Vice President at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis who serves as an Advisor to the Center for Indian Country Development and in the areas of Community Development and monetary policy. His research currently focuses on the economic development of American Indian reservations. He joined the Bank in 1980 while completing his Ph.D. in Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota and has published on topics such as poverty, household finance and financial education, and macroeconomics. Dr. Todd is on the board of the North Central Regional Center for Rural Development and the advisory council for the University of Minnesota Crookston’s Economic Development Center.


Sandra Tormoen (Click for more information)

Assistant Vice President and Community Affairs Officer, Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond

Sandra Tormoen

Sandra L. Tormoen serves as Community Affairs Officer and assistant vice president of Outreach for the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond. Ms. Tormoen has over 23 years of experience with the Federal Reserve in the fields of research, human resources, technology, outreach, and community development.


Elaine Weiss (Click for more information)

National Coordinator, The Broader, Bolder Approach to Education

Elaine Weiss

Elaine Weiss is the National Coordinator for The Broader, Bolder Approach to Education (BBA), where she works with four co-chairs, a high-level Advisory Board, and multiple coalition partners to promote a comprehensive, evidence-based set of policies to allow all children to thrive in school and life. Major publications for BBA include case studies of diverse communities across the country that employ comprehensive, whole-child approaches to education. She has authored two studies with Economic Policy Institute economist Emma Garcia on early achievement gaps and strategies to reduce them as well as 2013 reports on how Market-Oriented Education Reforms’ Rhetoric Trumps Reality, and Mismatches in Race to the Top Limit Educational Improvement. In 2014, Elaine worked with multiple educators to author a series of commentaries for Bill Moyers on the many links between poverty and education. She has also authored dozens of blogs for the Huffington Post, the Washington Post Answer Sheet, TalkPoverty, The Nation, and other publications, and been interviewed for numerous radio shows, including Jesse Jackson’s Keep Hope Alive show and National Public Radio’s The Diane Rehm Show.

Elaine came to BBA from the Pew Charitable Trusts, where she served as project manager for Pew’s Partnership for America’s Economic Success campaign. In that capacity, she collaborated with high-profile researchers to assemble a body of evidence on the economic benefits of public investments in early childhood education and other supports and with state partners to engage business leaders to promote effective early childhood programs. She has a Ph.D. in public policy from the George Washington University Trachtenberg School, a JD from the Harvard Law School, and a BA and BS from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Vice President and Community Affairs Officer

Alicia Williams

Alicia Williams is Vice President, Community Development Officer and Director of Community Development and Policy Studies at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. She is also the Bank’s Community Affairs Officer. She has oversight responsibility for the Bank’s community development/affairs program, emerging community and economic development issues, and policy research. She and her staff conduct policy research on access to credit by underserved individuals and small business owners, hold policy community development conferences, and provide technical assistance on consumer laws and regulations for financial institutions. Williams has many years of experience in the bank regulatory and examination field. After receiving her degree in finance, she began her professional career at the Chicago Fed as a safety and soundness bank examiner. She earned her examiner’s commission and went on to conduct bank holding company inspections. During her tenure at the Fed, she has led and written many bank examinations and bank holding company inspections. She also served as the officer in charge of the compliance examination division for 12 years and was responsible for supervision of banks for compliance with fair lending laws, compliance matters, and CRA. She holds a B.B. in finance from Western Illinois University and is a 1997 graduate of Northwestern University’s Kellogg Executive MBA Program.


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