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 

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.  

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. 

Candice Duggan, Development Director

Candice Duggan joined us this month as DCFPI’s 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. 


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