Erica Williams joined DCFPI in April 2021 as Executive Director. In this role, she leads the team in achieving its mission to promote opportunity and widespread prosperity for all residents of the District of Columbia.
Erica is a dynamic leader who excels at building relationships, consensus, and collective vision across a range of stakeholders. She brings nearly two decades of experience in pursuing racial, gender, and economic justice through public policy and is grounded in how fiscal and economic policies can advance or impede justice. Driven by her own lived experience, Erica holds a deep commitment to antiracism, equity, and inclusion and is committed to centering Black and brown lived experiences in DCFPI’s pursuit of equity and justice for communities sidelined by racism and economic inequality.
Prior to joining DCFPI, Erica was Vice President for State Fiscal Policy at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. In this role, she helped lead the organization and its 40-person State Fiscal Policy division, and supported and shaped the efforts of the State Priorities Partnership—a network of over 40 state-level fiscal and economic policy shops (including DCFPI) working to reduce poverty and inequality and advance equity and opportunity. In addition to deep state tax and budget analyses, Erica oversaw and grew equity-focused policy initiatives on state Earned Income Tax Credits (EITCs), poverty reduction, and immigration, and spearheaded a major effort to deepen the equity and inclusion focus of the state team and the Partnership as a whole.
Before joining CBPP, Erica worked as a Study Director at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, where she researched a variety of issues of concern to women, and especially women of color, including equal pay, job training and education, early care and education, Social Security, and civic engagement.
Erica holds a B.A. in Sociology and Spanish studies from Santa Clara University and an M.A. in international policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Studies.
Senior Policy Analyst
Issue Areas: Homelessness, Interim Disability Assistance (IDA) and Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF)
Kate joined the DC Fiscal Policy Institute as a Policy Analyst in 2011, focusing on a range of issues affecting low-income residents of DC, particularly TANF, Interim Disability Assistance (IDA), and homelessness. She is a voting member of the DC Interagency Council on Homelessness, the body of representatives from DC government, nonprofit providers, advocates, homeless, and formerly homeless.
Kate’s 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’s in public policy from George Washington University.
Issue Areas: Affordable Housing, Inclusive Economy
Doni joined DCFPI in January 2019 as a Policy Analyst focusing on Affordable Housing and Workforce Development. Prior to joining DCFPI, Doni worked at Neighborhood Allies where she co-led the implementation of All-In Pittsburgh, a collaborative regional strategy that shapes policies to achieve equitable development– ensuring that everyone participates in and benefits from the region’s economic transformation. She also led strategic planning for the organization and co-managed a grants program that intentionally invests in historically divested neighborhoods in Pittsburgh.
Doni earned her Master of Public and International Affairs (MPIA) at the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs and Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Political Science and Hispanic Languages and Literatures from the University of Pittsburgh.
Doni enjoys a good book, political TV dramas and scrolling through twitter.
Communications and Policy Assistant
Emily Gallo joined DCFPI in September 2021 as the Communications and Policy Assistant and is an Avodah Corps member for the 2021-2022 program year. Throughout the year, she will support DCFPI’s strategic communications and social media, assist policy analysts with research projects, and participate in coalitions and community engagement.
Emily graduated from UC Berkeley in 2021 with a BA in Political Science and Sociology and a minor in Education. Prior to joining DCFPI, she worked on policy for a Jewish political advocacy organization, was active in her university’s student government, and volunteered as a reading tutor in an elementary school.
Outside of work, Emily enjoys trying out new recipes, visiting art museums, and watching movies with her housemates.
Issue Areas: Affordable Housing, Inclusive Economy
Before joining us at DCFPI, Eliana worked at Housing Counseling Services where she co-coordinated an initiative to create innovative strategies for preserving affordability and preventing displacement from aging housing stock in areas East of the River. She has also worked as a tenant organizer, providing technical assistance to tenant associations going through the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act process.
Eliana holds a BA in Politics from Oberlin College and an MA in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University. Through her graduate studies, Eliana developed a passion for Geographic Information Systems, and is excited about bringing her skills in geographic data visualization (mapping) to inform DCFPI’s research and advocacy.
Eliana comes from a community organizing and movement building background and is passionate about policy making that is informed by community voices. Outside of work, Eliana enjoys riding her bike, gardening, and making music with her friends.
Just Recovery Revenue Campaign Organizer
Amber Gruner joined the team at DCFPI in February 2021 as a Revenue Organizer, leading our our efforts to bring together partners, advocates, and the community around the #JustRecoveryDC campaign.
Amber comes to DCFPI after six years of tenant organizing in DC with Housing Counseling Services, where she organized over 40 tenants’ associations to exercise their rights, including the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase (TOPA). She also supported the launch and ongoing work of the DC Tenant Union to build power among tenants across the city, and was active in several housing campaigns, initiatives and coalitions. She joins DCFPI as their first–ever organizer and will be working on a campaign to raise revenue in DC to ensure a more economically and racially just distribution of resources.
Amber graduated with BA in Sociology from Grinnell College. For the past seven years she has been a volunteer with HIPS, leading teams of volunteers to distribute harm reduction supplies to DC residents, and recently joined DC’s mutual aid efforts. Amber enjoys listening to K-pop, cooking, and doing a not-too-difficult crossword.
Danielle Hamer served as DCFPI’s Avodah Corps member from 2019-2020 and is now a Policy Associate. Danielle works with the policy team to conduct research and organize campaigns across issue areas, including rent control and revenue.
Danielle graduated from the University of Washington in 2019 with a BA in International Political Economy. Prior to joining the DCFPI team, she worked as a campaign manager for a Seattle City Council candidate.
In her spare time, Danielle enjoys exploring museums, watching comedy, and playing overly competitive games of Bananagrams.
Issue Areas: Education
Qubilah Huddleston joined the DC Fiscal Policy Institute in July 2019 as an Education Policy Analyst. Prior to joining DCFPI, Qubilah worked in program management at Code in the Schools, a Baltimore City nonprofit that empowers youth to thrive in the 21st century economy by expanding access to quality computer science education and building pathways from school to jobs and higher education.
She received her bachelor’s degree in Political Science and Public Policy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her master’s in public policy with a focus on K-12 education from the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. Her professional experience includes working on policy issues at the local, state, and federal levels across nonprofit, public, and corporate sectors.
When she’s not at work, Qubilah enjoys perusing the aisles of used bookstores, creating mood-inspired playlists, and brewing a pot of hot herbal tea.
Michael Johnson Jr.
State Policy Fellow
Michael joined the team at DCFPI in August 2021 and will work with the policy team to advance our research in various issue areas such as education, income & poverty, and cannabis policy.
He comes to DCFPI having worked in multiple roles within the CBPP network. While completing his graduate degree, Michael worked as a Research Intern with the State Fiscal Policy team at CBPP. Prior to this experience, he also interned as a Policy Researcher at The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis in 2019. In his role at DCFPI, Michael hopes to use his background in research and advocacy to uplift communities throughout the DC area.
Michael holds a Master of Public Policy (MPP) from the University of Chicago and a Bachelor of Arts (BA) in Philosophy, Politics, Economics & Law (PPEL) from the University of Richmond. Outside of work, Michael enjoys traveling, playing recreational sports, and is an avid gamer.
Communications and Advocacy Intern
Heather joined the team as Communications and Advocacy Intern in January 2021. Prior to joining DCFPI, she completed a year of service as an AmeriCorps VISTA at Hawaii Children’s Action Network as their Policy, Training, and Community Engagement Coordinator. Heather graduated in 2019 from Southern Connecticut State University with a degree in Public Health.
In her free time, she enjoys hiking, biking and traveling.
Director of Communications and External Affairs
Nikki joined DCFPI in August 2021 as Director of Communications and External Affairs. She brings to her role more than a decade of experience in content creation and communications for social change. She previously led communications teams at the National Asian Pacific American Women’s Forum and Planned Parenthood Texas Votes. Nikki holds a Master of Public Affairs from the University of Texas and a BA in English from Rice University.
Issue Areas: Budget and Tax Policy, Work and Income Supports
Tazra Mitchell joined the DC Fiscal Policy Institute in August 2019 as the Policy Director, managing and advancing the organization’s policy research and advocacy agenda. She is passionate about the anti-racism and economic justice movements.
Previously, Tazra worked as a Senior Policy Analyst at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), where she managed the “Poverty to Opportunity” project and conducted analyses of promising employment policies aimed at helping people struggling to make ends meet. Prior to CBPP, she was a Policy Analyst with the North Carolina Budget & Tax Center, where she conducted analyses of fiscal and economic policies and helped spearhead various anti-poverty policy campaigns. She also analyzed legislative proposals to determine the fiscal impact on state government resources and worked directly with legislators to develop the state budget as a Research Assistant in the non-partisan Fiscal Research Division of the North Carolina General Assembly.
Tazra holds a B.A. in Political Science from North Carolina State University and an MPP from the Sanford School of Public Policy at Duke University.