Biographical Sketches of Strategy Group Members
Karen Dynan, Ph.D. (Chair), is a professor of the practice of economics in the Department of Economics at Harvard University and at the Harvard Kennedy School; she is also currently a nonresident senior fellow at the Peterson Institute for International Economics. Dr. Dynan’s research is focused on fiscal and other types of macroeconomic policy, consumer behavior, and household finances. She served as assistant secretary for economic policy and chief economist at the U.S. Department of the Treasury from 2014 to 2017, leading analysis of economic conditions and the development of policies to address the nation’s economic challenges. From 2009 to 2013, Dr. Dynan was vice president and co-director of the Economic Studies program at the Brookings Institution. Before that, she was on the staff of the Federal Reserve Board for 17 years, playing a leadership role in a number of areas, including macroeconomic forecasting, household finances, and the Fed’s response to the financial crisis. Dr. Dynan also served as a senior economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers from 2003 to 2004 and as a visiting assistant professor at The Johns Hopkins University in 1998. She received her Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University and her A.B. from Brown University.
Stephanie R. Aaronson, Ph.D., is vice president and director of the Economic Studies program at the Brookings Institution. Dr. Aaronson joined Brookings in October 2018 after nearly two decades at the Federal Reserve Board, most recently as assistant director in the Division of Research and Statistics. She also served as deputy assistant secretary for macroeconomic policy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury, where she was the recipient of the Meritorious Service Award. Dr. Aaronson is a labor economist whose research has examined, among other issues, why an increasing share of Americans are not participating in the labor force and the disparate labor market experiences of workers by gender, race, and ethnicity. She has published research in a variety of academic journals and volumes and speaks regularly to the local and national media on labor and monetary policy issues. Her research has been featured in numerous prominent publications, including The Economist, The New York Times, and The Washington Post. Dr. Aaronson serves on the advisory board of the Journal of Economic Perspectives and as the Washington, DC–area representative to the American Economics Association’s Committee on the Status of Women in the Economics Profession. She holds an A.B. in history from Columbia College (1990) and a Ph.D. in economics from Columbia University (2000).
Lisa K. Bates, Ph.D., is associate professor at Portland State University (PSU) in the Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning and holds a Portland professorship in innovative housing policy. She is also affiliated with PSU’s Black Studies department. Her research is focused on housing and community development policy and planning, and includes an advisory partnership with local government partners. Her work to develop housing preservation and investment strategies responding to gentrification and displacement in Portland has been widely cited and used as a model for planning to address neighborhood change. Recognition of her work includes the 2019 Marilyn J. Gittell Activist Scholar Award from the Urban Affairs Association and the 2016 Dale Prize for scholarship advancing community self-determination and racial justice. Her B.A. (1999) is in political science from The George Washington University, and she holds a Ph.D. in city and regional planning (2006) from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Gloria A. Bruce, M.C.P., is executive director of East Bay Housing Organizations, the leading advocacy coalition promoting affordable housing and housing justice in Alameda and Contra Costa counties in California. She oversees all policy campaigns to preserve, produce, and create affordable housing, and has expertise in land-use policy, community organizing, tenants’ rights, and racial equity issues in housing and homelessness. Ms. Bruce participated in and co-facilitated the Oakland Mayor’s Housing Cabinet, a multistakeholder group developing ideas to address the housing crisis in the city of Oakland, California (where she currently resides). She has more than 15 years of experience in social justice and community development in the Bay Area; in Boston, Massachusetts; and in her native Washington, DC, area. Ms. Bruce is vice-chair of the Alameda County Measure A1 Advisory Committee and serves on the boards of EveryOne Home and the California Reinvestment Coalition. She studied city and regional planning at the University of California and has a B.A. in U.S. history from Harvard University.
Anita Chandra, Dr.P.H., M.P.H., is vice president and director of RAND Social and Economic Well-Being and a senior policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. Her division also manages RAND’s Center to Advance Racial Equity Policy. Dr. Chandra leads studies on civic well-being and urban planning, community resilience and long-term disaster recovery, public health emergency preparedness, effects of military deployment, health equity in all policies and advancing a culture of health, and child health and development. Throughout her career, she has engaged government and nongovernmental partners to consider cross-sector solutions for improving community well-being and building more robust systems for implementation and evaluation capacity. This work has taken many forms, including engaging with federal and local government agencies on building systems for emergency preparedness and resilience both in the United States and globally; partnering with private-sector organizations to develop the science base around child systems; and collaborating with city governments and foundations to reform data systems and measure environmental sustainability, well-being, and civic transformation. Dr. Chandra also has partnered with community organizations to conduct broad-scale health and environmental needs assessments, to examine the integration of health and human service systems, and to determine how to integrate equity and address the
needs of historically marginalized populations in human service systems. These projects have occurred in partnership with businesses, foundations, and other community organizations. Dr. Chandra earned a Dr.P.H. in population and family health sciences from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Amy Crews Cutts, Ph.D., M.A., is president and chief economist of AC Cutts & Associates, LLC. She was previously senior vice president and chief economist for Equifax, and senior director and deputy chief economist at Freddie Mac before that. With more than 25 years of economic analysis and policy development experience, Dr. Cutts is a passionate advocate for expanding consumer access to low-cost, nonpredatory credit and is a noted expert in consumer credit reporting, loan servicing, mortgage and consumer finance, and housing markets. She has published numerous studies in academic journals and books on such topics as the economics of subprime lending, the impact of technology on foreclosure prevention, the drivers of strategic mortgage default, and income inequality. In 2015, Dr. Cutts became a certified business economist, a distinction of professional achievement from the National Association for Business Economics (NABE). She serves on the board of directors for NABE and the National Business Economics Issues Council, the policy advisory board for The Reinvestment Fund, the advisory board for Riskspan, and the housing advisory board for the National Foundation for Credit Counseling. Dr. Cutts holds a Ph.D. in economics from the University of Virginia.
Annie Donovan, M.B.A., is chief operating officer of Local Initiatives Support Corporation. Immediately prior, she was a senior fellow at the Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation at Georgetown University and a senior fellow at the Center for Community Investment at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy. Ms. Donovan’s distinguished career in community development and impact investing includes serving as director of the U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Community Development Financial Institutions (CDFI) Fund. Prior positions include chief executive officer of CoMetrics, Inc; senior policy advisor to the White House from 2012 to 2013, working collaboratively with the Office of Social Innovation and the Council on Environmental Quality; and chief operating officer of Capital Impact Partners, a certified CDFI. Ms. Donovan has also been a thought leader and a board member of many of the highest-performing organizations in the community development sector. She has published papers and articles for the National Academy for Public Administration, the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, Forbes, the Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship, and the Milken Institute Review, and she was a contributor to the forthcoming Surgeon General’s Report on Community Health and Economic Prosperity. Ms. Donovan has an undergraduate degree in economics and an M.B.A. in finance.
Michael Fratantoni, Ph.D., is the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA’s) chief economist and senior vice president of research and industry technology. In this role, he is responsible for overseeing MBA’s industry surveys and benchmarking studies, economic and mortgage originations forecasts, industry technology efforts, and policy development research for both single-family and commercial/multifamily markets. Prior to joining MBA, Dr. Fratantoni worked in risk management and senior economist
roles at Washington Mutual and Fannie Mae. He has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Washington, The Johns Hopkins University, The George Washington University, and Georgetown University. He received a Ph.D. in economics from The Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. in economics from William & Mary.
Wayne H. Giles, M.D., M.S., is dean of the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC). Prior to joining UIC in September 2017, he was director of the Division for Heart Disease and Stroke Prevention in the National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Dr. Giles also led the Division of Population Health at the CDC, one of the agency’s most diverse divisions, with programmatic and research activities in community health promotion, arthritis, aging, health care utilization, and racial and ethnic disparities in health. His past work experience includes studies examining the prevalence of hypertension in Africa, clinical trials evaluating the effectiveness of cholesterol-lowering agents, and studies examining racial differences in the incidence of stroke. Dr. Giles has authored more than 150 publications in peer-reviewed journals and several book chapters. He has received numerous awards, including the CDC’s Charles C. Shepard Science Award in Assessment and Epidemiology and the Jeffrey P. Koplan Award. Dr. Giles holds a B.A. in biology from Washington University, an M.S. in epidemiology from the University of Maryland, and an M.D. from Washington University, and completed residencies in internal medicine at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and in preventive medicine at the University of Maryland.
William C. Goedel, Ph.D., is an assistant professor (research) at the Brown University School of Public Health in the Department of Epidemiology. He is a computational epidemiologist, using a combination of geographic information systems and simulation modeling approaches to understanding how the neighborhoods in which people live, work, and play and the networks to which they are connected shape the health of communities. Dr. Goedel has significant methodological expertise in spatial data collection, management, and analysis, including defining of neighborhood boundaries relevant for particular analytical questions, use of global positioning system technologies to understand mobility in vulnerable populations, geocoding and processing of spatial data sources, detection and characterization of hotspots, and specialized statistical techniques for working with spatial data sources (e.g., multilevel statistical models, spatial econometrics). Further, his research portfolio employs several simulation modeling techniques, including Monte Carlo simulation and agent-based modeling, to assess the movement of information and infectious diseases in networks. Recent research with the Rhode Island Department of Health has applied these approaches to identify neighborhoods prospectively at high risk for disproportionate levels of SARS-CoV-2 infection and related outcomes, with a focus on how structural factors (e.g., residential segregation, concentrated poverty, housing cost burden) drive vulnerability in these communities. Dr. Goedel earned a Ph.D. in epidemiology from the Brown University School of Public Health.
Rachel Garshick Kleit, Ph.D., is associate dean of faculty affairs in the College of Engineering and professor of city and regional planning (CRP) in the Knowlton School of Architecture, both at the Ohio State University (OSU). Her research focus is on affordable housing and social inequality, including social impacts of housing, housing mobility and instability, public housing authorities as developers, fair housing, and fair access to credit. Her most recent project is on understanding the factors causing some public housing authorities to build or own units that are not part of the public assisted housing stock. She has also published research on the equity impacts of economic development and workforce policies on poverty and inequality, as well as on the changing relationship between housing and inequality since the U.S. mortgage crisis. Her research has been applied through the housing mobility pilot program Move to PROSPER, for which she is chair of the steering committee. Dr. Kleit’s experience with the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine began with her U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Urban Scholar Postdoctoral Fellowship, which the National Academies managed, and continues today in applying lessons learned through the National Academies’ Committee on Women in Science, Engineering, and Medicine in her current role as associate dean for faculty. She holds a bachelor of arts, with highest honors, cum laude, from Brandeis University; a master of arts in urban and environmental policy from Tufts University; and a Ph.D. in city and regional planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Lauren Ancel Meyers, Ph.D., is the Cooley Centennial professor of integrative biology at the University of Texas (UT) at Austin, where she was the founding chair of the Department of Statistics and Data Sciences and directs a National Institutes of Health (NIH) T32 training grant in biomedical big data. In March 2020, she established the UT COVID-19 Modeling Consortium, which has built multiple COVID-19 forecasting dashboards, published dozens of high-impact reports and articles, and provided critical analyses for policy makers and public health authorities worldwide. For more than 20 years, Dr. Meyers has pioneered the application of data-driven models and machine learning to uncover the drivers of epidemics and improve the detection, surveillance, forecasting, and control of emerging viral threats, including COVID-19, pandemic influenza, Ebola, HIV, and Zika. She has built decision-support tools for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, and multiple state and local agencies. Dr. Meyers consulted on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on Guidance for K-12 Education on Responding to COVID-19, and serves on COVID-19 task forces for the City of Austin, UT, and multiple K-12 school districts. She is a member of the NIH Infectious Diseases, Reproductive Health, Asthma and Pulmonary Conditions (IRAP) Study Section, and serves on the external advisory boards of Outbreak Science, the NIH Models of Infectious Disease Agents Study, the James S. McDonnell Foundation Postdoctoral Program, and the Santa Fe Institute. Dr. Meyers was named one of the top 100 global innovators under age 35 by the MIT Technology Review in 2004 and received the Joseph Lieberman Award for Significant Contributions to Science in 2017. She earned a B.A. in mathematics and philosophy from Harvard University and a Ph.D. in biological sciences from Stanford University.
Mahasin Mujahid, Ph.D., M.S., FAHA, is chancellor’s professor and associate professor of epidemiology at the University of California, Berkeley (UC Berkeley) School of Public Health. As a social epidemiologist, she employs interdisciplinary and community-based approaches to investigate racial, ethnic, and place-based health disparities. Dr. Mujahid’s primary area of research examines the role of neighborhood environment in cardiovascular health. She uses data from several U.S.-based cardiovascular cohorts and novel statistical methods to improve the measurement of neighborhood physical and social environments and to investigate neighborhood health effects. Dr. Mujahid’s research, funded by the National Institutes of Health and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, among others, has been published in leading public health and medical journals nationally. She serves as director of the master’s in public health in epidemiology and biostatistics program at UC Berkeley and is an active member of the American Heart Association, where she is a fellow, member of the Advocacy Committee, and immediate past chair of the Social Determinants Scientific Subcommittee. Dr. Mujahid earned a B.S. in mathematics from Xavier University in New Orleans, Louisiana, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in biostatistics and epidemiology from the University of Michigan.
Kelly Patterson, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the School of Social Work at the University at Buffalo. Her research examines low-income housing policies to determine their effectiveness at improving the quality of life for the truly disadvantaged in order to generate policy recommendations that redress such issues as race and class segregation. Dr. Patterson’s current work focuses on the utilization of small area fair market rents as a tool to increase housing mobility for low-income renters in 24 municipalities across the United States. She recently published an article titled “The Best-Laid Plans Often Go Awry: An Analysis of the Implementation of Small Area Fair Market Rents (SAFMRs)” in Cityscape. Dr. Patterson received her Ph.D. in urban studies from the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee in 2002.
Vincent J. Reina, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of urban economics and housing in the Department of City and Regional Planning at the Stuart Weitzman School of Design, dean’s distinguished visiting professor at the School of Nursing (2020), and faculty director of the Housing Initiative, all at the University of Pennsylvania. His research is focused on urban economics and development, housing policy, household mobility, neighborhood change, poverty and inequality, and the intersection of housing and human welfare. Dr. Reina received the 2019 Rising Scholar Award from the Association of Collegiate Schools of Planning and the 2016 Best Dissertation award from the Association of Public Policy and Management. He was a visiting scholar at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia from 2018 to 2020 and a 2018 Lincoln Institute for Land Policy scholar, and he is currently a Stoneleigh Foundation Fellow. Dr. Reina received a Ph.D. in public policy and management from the University of Southern California (2016), an M.B.A. with a concentration in economics and real estate from New York University’s Stern School of Business (2012), an Ms.C. in comparative social policy from the University of Oxford (2005), and a B.S. in urban studies from Cornell University (2002).
Marybeth Shinn, Ph.D., M.A., is Cornelius Vanderbilt professor in the Department of Human and Organizational Development, Peabody College, Vanderbilt University. She has research interests in homelessness, community contexts of human welfare, social policy, and social intervention. Dr. Shinn is former president of the Society for Community Research and Action and of the Society for the Psychological Study of Social Issues, and is a fellow of both of those organizations, as well as the Association for Psychological Science. She served on the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Committee on Evaluation of Permanent Supportive Housing Programs for Homeless Individuals (2018). Dr. Shinn received the Raymond Vernon Award from the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management (2018), the Social Policy Edited Book Award from the Society for Research on Adolescents (2010), and the awards for Ethnic/Minority Mentoring (1997) and Distinguished Contributions to Theory and Research (1996) from the Society for Community Research and Action. She has also served on two National Institutes of Health study sections (Social Science and Population Health, and Child/Adolescent Risk and Prevention). Dr. Shinn’s most recent book, coauthored with Jill Khadduri, is In the Midst of Plenty: Homelessness and What to Do about It. She received her B.A. (summa cum laude) in social relations from Harvard University, and her M.A. in social psychology and her Ph.D. in community and social psychology from the University of Michigan.
Timothy A. Thomas, Ph.D., is research director at the Urban Displacement Project, specializing in urban sociology, demography, and data science. His research is focused on how neighborhood change, housing, and displacement affect household socioeconomic stratification by race and gender in the United States. Dr. Thomas is also principal investigator for the Evictions Study, a multimetropolitan analysis of the neighborhood drivers of eviction using census data and text mining court records. His research agenda is marked by an intellectual foundation in policy-relevant research operationalized through civic and academic collaborations that address real-world problems and advance scholarly research. In 2019, his team’s work on evictions provided empirical evidence that helped in passing several tenant protection laws in Washington State. In addition to his work on evictions, Dr. Thomas has published academic articles and reports on migration, gentrification, homelessness, hate crimes, and displacement. He holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of Washington and was a Moore/Sloan data science postdoctoral fellow at the University of Washington’s eScience Institute.
Rachel L. J. Thornton, M.D., Ph.D., is associate professor at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and executive director for clinical services for the Johns Hopkins Medicine Office of Population Health, where she works to advance health care system transformation responsive to children’s health. A practicing primary care pediatrician, she is an expert in health equity and health disparities research and the impacts of non–health-sector policies on child health and family well-being. Dr. Thornton has experience translating research into policy at the local, state, and federal levels, serving as health policy advisor at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development from 2011 to 2013. She also served as a member of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine committee that produced the report Shaping Summertime Experiences:
Opportunities to Promote Healthy Development and Well-Being for Children and Youth. In her role as associate director for policy for the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Equity, Dr. Thornton is leading the Center’s partnership with the Bloomberg American Health Initiative, working with IBM Watson Health to develop a method for measuring the impact of hospitals on community health and equity. She received her B.A. from New York University, and her M.D. and Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and the Bloomberg School of Public Health, respectively. She also completed a pediatrics residency and fellowship training at Johns Hopkins.
Till Marco von Wachter, Ph.D., is professor of economics at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA); faculty director of the California Policy Lab; director of the Federal Statistical Research Data Center; and associate dean for research for the Social Science Division at UCLA. His research examines how labor market conditions and institutions affect the well-being of workers and their families. This includes analysis of the effects of unemployment and job loss on workers’ long-term earnings and health outcomes, as well as the role of unemployment insurance and disability insurance in buffering such shocks. He is currently involved in research projects focused on the job and earnings mobility of young workers over their careers and the role of unemployment insurance during the COVID-19 crisis, as well as several projects on homelessness and homelessness prevention using administrative data from Los Angeles. Dr. von Wachter’s research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institute on Aging, the Social Security Administration, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation, the Russell Sage Foundation, the Hilton Foundation, and Arnold Ventures. He earned a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.A. from Economics University in Bonn, Germany.
Stephanie Williams, M.C.P., is president of Bozzuto Management Company and operating partner of The Bozzuto Group, and has remained focused on providing extraordinary experiences to residents, clients, partners, and employees of the company since joining in 2004. She directs the operations and an array of specialized initiatives for an apartment portfolio of 77,000 units across more than 265 properties in the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, and Southern regions. In 2017, Ms. Williams earned the MultiHousing News Excellence Award for Executive of the Year, was named Minority Business Leader by Washington Business Journal, and was honored as a member of Baltimore Business Journal’s Top 40 Under 40. In 2018, under her leadership, Bozzuto Management Company was named #1 Property Management Company by the National Association of Home Builders. Ms. Williams is a board member of the Real Estate Executive Council, and an active member of the Urban Land Institute and the District of Columbia Building Industry Association.
Douglas E. Wood, Ed.D., is director of the Aspen Institute’s Criminal Justice Reform Program. From 2011 to 2018, he was a program officer at the Ford Foundation on the Youth Opportunity and Learning team, and for nearly 2 years he served as acting lead of the foundation’s global Higher Education for Social Justice initiative. In that role, Dr. Wood managed grants in the United States, Colombia, Peru, Chile, southern Africa, Egypt, and China. He also funded a myriad of programmatic grants focused on criminal
justice reform at the national, state, and local levels and including investigative journalism, theater, and documentary film. Prior to joining Ford, he was executive director and chief education officer of the Tennessee State Board of Education, chair of the Basic Education Program Review Committee that oversees Tennessee’s $3.2 billion K-12 budget, a member of the Tennessee Higher Education Commission, a gubernatorial appointee to the Education Commission of the States, a fellow at the Elliott School of International Affairs at The George Washington University, executive director and principal investigator of the National Academy for Excellent Teaching in the Teachers College at Columbia University, and associate dean at Eugene Lang College of Liberal Arts at The New School. During his years at the Ford Foundation, Dr. Wood managed the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) Ford Foundation Fellowship, which resulted in a $100 million investment from Ford to NAS from 2012 to 2027. He holds a bachelor’s degree in history from Wofford College, a master’s degree in English from Middlebury College, and master’s and doctoral degrees from Harvard University.
Ahu Yildirmaz, Ph.D., is co-head of the ADP Research Institute, where she directs economic and labor market research. Dr. Yildirmaz’s broad research interests include workforce trends and labor market conditions, including job and wage dynamics. She is frequently cited by leading business publications, including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Reuters, CNBC, TheStreet, CNN Money, and Forbes. Throughout her career, Dr. Yildirmaz has approached her research with a global mindset, having lived and worked in Europe, the United States, and Central Asia. Prior to joining ADP in 2011, she held a number of roles at Johnson & Johnson and AT&T in the areas of strategy, corporate finance, and market research. Dr. Yildirmaz has also lectured and taught several economics and finance classes within the Economics Department at New York University and the City University of New York. She holds a Ph.D. in economics from the City University of New York.
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