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 Consumer Health Foundation, the DC Primary Care Association, and Temple Micah.  He also is a member of the emeritus board of the Children’s Law Center.

Ed earned an undergraduate degree from Harvard College and a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Maryland

Soumya Bhat, Education Finance and Policy Analyst (

Soumya joined the DC Fiscal Policy Institute in 2011, where her work focuses on improving the fiscal transparency and equity of public education in the District, including early care and education. In this role, she provides 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 research for the New America Foundation’s education and early education policy programs.

Soumya holds a Master’s 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 undergraduate degree in sociology from Randolph-Macon Woman’s College and a Master of Public Policy degree from George Washington University.

Candice Duggan, Development Director (

Candice Duggan joined DCFPI in April 2014 as our first-ever Development Director. Candice has worked in development for five years, most recently for the Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies. In addition to working there, she is pursuing a master’s degree in Public Management, building on her undergraduate degree in Public Policy. Prior to Johns Hopkins, Candice worked in Atlanta (her hometown) for Zoo Atlanta and Atlanta Habitat for Humanity.

An organization cannot thrive on high-quality research and analysis alone – unless of course someone is there to connect with the people and institutions who understand the benefits and want to support it. Through a variety of activities, Candice will be reaching out to supporters to ensure that the DC Fiscal Policy Institute can continue its work to build thriving communities across the city.

Ilana Boivie, Senior Policy Analyst (

Ilana joined DCFPI in May 2015 as a Senior Policy Analyst. Her work focuses on strengthening job training and adult education, and on improving working conditions for people employed in DC. Previously, she worked as a Research Economist for the Communications Workers of America, where she served as the subject matter expert on retirement policy and provided bargaining and policy support on health care issues. Prior to that, she served as Director of Programs for the National Institute on Retirement Security, where she conducted original research and analysis of national retirement issues, frequently spoke on retirement and economic matters, and testified before policymakers regarding her research.

Ilana holds an M.A. in Economics from New Mexico State University and a B.A. in English from Binghamton University, where she graduated Magna Cum Laude.

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Linnea Lassiter, Policy Analyst (

Linnea joined DCFPI in 2016 as a policy analyst through the State Policy Fellowship of the State Priorities Partnership. As DCFPI’s fellow, Linnea will focus on various issues affecting low-income DC residents, including TANF and early childhood education, and other policies that have a disparate impact on DC residents of color. Linnea’s professional experience is rooted in criminal justice policy and the racial, economic, and fiscal implications of mass incarceration. Prior to joining DCFPI, Linnea worked with juvenile delinquency prevention programs within DC, conducted research at the Urban Institute on the school-to-prison pipeline, and co-authored reports on modern-day debtors’ prisons and felony disenfranchisement resulting from  unpaid criminal justice debt.

Linnea earned an M.A. in Public Policy from the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance at the University of Washington, and holds a B.A. in Political Science/Public Policy from George Washington University, where she graduated magna cum laude.

Claire Zippel, Housing Policy Associate (

Claire joined DCFPI in June 2015 as our Housing Policy Associate. Claire recently earned a Master’s in Public Policy from Georgetown University. Previously, she worked on DC’s housing affordability crisis, inclusionary zoning, and temporary rentals of income-restricted units as a policy fellow at the Coalition for Smarter Growth. Claire is particularly interested in the connection between housing affordability and economic mobility.

Stephanie Schneiderman, Outreach, Communications, and Development Assistant 

AVODAH Corps Member (

Stephanie Schneiderman joined DCFPI in September 2015 as DCFPI’s first AVODAH corps member. AVODAH is a Jewish service corps year long program that trains recent graduates in becoming leaders in the fight against poverty. Stephanie is working as an Outreach, Communications, and Development Assistant. Stephanie recently graduated from Brandeis University with a BA in Health Science, Society, and Policy. Stephanie hopes to return to school to become a policy analyst. Her research interests are in the intersection of health care financing and accessibility.

Jodi Kwarciany, Policy Analyst (

Jodi joined DCFPI in May 2016 as a Policy Analyst, focusing on health policy. Jodi previously worked on a wide array of health policy topics as a Research Associate with the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, D.C. Before arriving in her adopted city, she zigzagged across the Midwest and interned with state legislators, lobbyists, and Optum Labs of UnitedHealth Group. Jodi received her Master’s in Public Policy from the University of Minnesota and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from the University of Wisconsin, Eau Claire. She is passionate about health policy and is excited to contribute DCFPI’s excellent work for the District of Columbia.