Ed Lazere, Executive Director
Ed has led the work of the DC Fiscal Policy Institute since its inception in 2001. Under his leadership, DCFPI has become the primary source of independent information on the DC budget and one of the most influential policy organizations focused on the District. Lazere is recognized as a leading expert on the District’s budget and tax system, and he is looked to as a resource on a number of policy issues such as affordable housing and welfare-to-work programs.
Ed’s work at the DC Fiscal Policy Institute has received numerous honors, including awards from Bread for the City, the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, the DC Employment Justice Center, the DC Primary Care Association, the Center for Nonprofit Advancement, DC Jobs With Justice, and the Healthy Families/Thriving Communities Collaborative Council. He is cited frequently in the media, including The Washington Post, the Washington Business Journal, WAMU, WTOP and numerous blogs.
Ed served as the Chair of the Public Education Finance Reform Commission in 2011-2012 and a member of the DC Tax Revision Commission in 2012-13. Lazere also serves on the board of directors of a number of local non-profits, including the Children’s Law Center, the Consumer Health Foundation, the DC Primary Care Association, and Temple Micah.
Ed earned an undergraduate degree from Harvard College and a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Maryland
Jenny Reed, Policy Director
Jenny Reed is the Policy Director at DCFPI, where she has worked since 2008. Reed is widely recognized as an expert on the DC budget, affordable housing, poverty and income trends, and tax policy. Her research has contributed to a number of important budget and policy outcomes, including increased funding to address the city’s affordable housing shortfall, improved public access to key DC budget information, and improvements to policies governing the city’s financial reserves.
Jenny serves as a member of the Board of Commissioners for the DC Housing Authority. She was appointed to the Board in April 2012 by the DC Consortium of Legal Service Providers to serve in the Housing Advocate position. During tax season, she volunteers her time to help low-income families prepare and file their taxes for free.
Jenny holds an undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Rhode Island and a Masters in Public Policy from George Washington University.
Elissa Silverman, Workforce Policy Analyst & Communications Director
Elissa joined DCFPI in April 2009. Previously she worked as a Metro reporter for the Washington Post, where she covered regional crime, District politics, and local business. From 2002 to 2004, Silverman wrote the popular “Loose Lips” column on local politics and government for the Washington City Paper. Earlier in her career, she worked as a researcher with the Center for Responsive Politics. She lives on Capitol Hill and is an enthusiastic cyclist, tennis player, and cook.
Elissa was awarded an undergraduate degree in history and economics from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island.
Soumya Bhat, Policy Analyst
Soumya is Education Finance and Policy Analyst at DCFPI, where her work focuses on improving the fiscal transparency and equity of public education in the District. In this role, she conducts research and analysis to help DC residents better understand school finance and the effects of education policies on the city’s low- and moderate-income students. Formerly, she worked at The Finance Project where she conducted state fiscal mapping studies and provided research and technical assistance to state leaders on how to sustain early childhood and out-of-school time programs. She also conducted policy research for the New America Foundation’s education program.
Soumya earned a Bachelors degree in Psychology from Birmingham-Southern College. She also holds a Masters degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.
Kate Coventry, Policy Analyst
Kate is a Policy Analyst at DCFPI, focusing on a range of issues affecting low-income residents of DC, particularly TANF, Interim Disability Assistance (IDA), and homelessness. Her professional background is rooted in working with community-based organizations in the Washington area. She is an avid knitter in her spare time.
Kate holds an undergradaute degree in sociology from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and a Master of Public Policy degree from George Washington University.
Jessica Fulton, Outreach Director
Jessica joined DCFPI as an Outreach Director in December 2011. Her work focuses on maintaining and building connections with the community and gaining support for policy campaigns. Prior to joining DCFPI, she worked as a Policy and Research Associate with the Chicago Urban League, focusing on issues of inequality in education, income, and juvenile justice.
Jessica earned an undergraduate degree in econmics from the University of Chicago. She also holds Masters degree in economic policy from Depaul University’s Kellstadt Graduate School of Business.
Wes Rivers, Policy Analyst and SFAI State Policy Fellow
Wes Rivers is a Policy Analyst at DCFPI and a SFAI State Policy Fellow. His work focuses on a range of issues, including health care and tax policy. While in school and prior to coming to DCFPI, he worked for a state affordable housing advocate, and he completed a summer internship at the Urban Institute, researching changes to state TANF programs.
Wes holds an undergraduate degree in economics from Southwestern University and a Masters Degree from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas at Austin.
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