NEPPC- About Us

The New England Public Policy Center (NEPPC) was established by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston in January 2005. The Boston Fed has provided support to the public policy community of New England for many years; NEPPC institutionalizes and expands on this tradition.

  • Overview

  • Staff
  • Visiting
  • Advisory
  • Employment and
    Internship Opportunities


Promote better public policy in New England by conducting and disseminating objective, high-quality research and analysis of strategically identified regional economic and policy issues. When appropriate, work with regional and Bank partners to advance identified policy options.

Strategic Objectives

  • Produce objective, high-quality research of an original or descriptive nature that addresses regional policy issues of importance to the Center's key audience, consistent with the Bank’s mission as it applies to the region.
  • Effectively engage and inform external constituents.
  • Use Bank and Center resources strategically.
  • Advise the Bank President.


Yolanda Kodrzycki (Director)
Darcy Rollins Saas (Deputy Director)
Bo Zhao (Senior Economist)
Jennifer Weiner (Senior Policy Analyst)

Robert Clifford (Senior Policy Analyst)
Joshua Ballance (Senior Research Assistant)
Jingyi Huang (Research Assistant)



Yolanda Kodrzycki
Yolanda Kodrzycki is a vice president and the director of the New England Public Policy Center at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston. The Policy Center conducts research on key economic and policy issues in New England, and engages with regional partners in advancing identified policy options.

Prior to assuming this position, Kodrzycki was a senior economist and policy advisor in the Boston Fed's research department, specializing in regional, labor market, and public sector economics. Her most recent research examines economic development strategies for older industrial cities; potential cost efficiencies through regional consolidation of local government functions, and the cyclical volatility of state tax revenues. She serves as co-editor of MassBenchmarks, an economics publication issued jointly by the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the University of Massachusetts. Kodrzycki is also an Institute of Urban Research Scholar at the University of Pennsylvania.

Prior to joining the Boston Fed, she taught economics at Amherst College. A graduate of Radcliffe College (at Harvard University), Kodrzycki received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Pennsylvania. Email Yolanda

Yolanda's full cv

Deputy Director

Darcy Rollins Saas
Darcy started with the New England Public Policy Center as a Policy Analyst in 2005. She was promoted to Deputy Director in 2007; in this position, she is responsible for working with the Director of the Center and its staff to develop and to implement its strategy and mission. Darcy has written on subjects ranging from regional housing policy to the costs and benefits of film tax credits in New England. She previously worked at the Maine Development Foundation, where she was an analyst for the state's annual economic indicators report and managed a community economic development program. Darcy holds a masters in public policy from Tufts University and a BA in political science from Colgate University. Darcy's favorite place in New England is Portland, Maine. Email Darcy.


Bo Zhao
As a Senior Economist, Bo leads research projects on regional economic and policy issues for the Center. He specializes in urban, regional, and public economics, with research interests in state and local public finance, housing markets, and fair housing and lending. His work has been published in several academic journals such as the Journal of Urban Economics, National Tax Journal, and Journal of Policy Analysis and Management. He also made presentations at various academic meetings, including annual conferences of the National Tax Association and the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. Bo was selected by the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation as one of 20 young scholars nationwide to participate in the 2005 Entrepreneurship Research Boot Camp. He served on the Municipal Aid Subcommittee of the Municipal Finance Task Force between 2006 and 2007.  Bo earned a Ph.D. in economics and a master's degree in applied statistics from Syracuse University. His favorite place in New England is the Charles River between River Street and JFK Street in Cambridge. Email Bo.

Bo's full cv

Policy Analysts

Robert Clifford
As a Senior Policy Analyst, Robert conducts analysis of regional economic and policy issues for the Center. His research interests include public finance, labor economics, and income inequality.. In 2012, he was the lead researcher and author of in-depth profiles of labor markets in Massachusetts regions, reports that were prepared in collaboration with the Commonwealth Corporation. He is also the editor of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston’s regional economic data resource, New England Economic Indicators. Originally from New Hampshire, Robert holds a Masters in economics from the University of New Hampshire and a BA in economics from Keene State College. Robert's favorite place in New England is the Lake of the Clouds Hut near the peak of Mount Washington. Email Robert.

Jennifer Weiner
Jennifer Weiner is a Senior Policy Analyst at the New England Public Policy Center at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston where she prepares analyses of regional economic and policy issues for internal and external communications. Her work at the Center focuses on matters of state and local public finance and has included research on state business tax credits, unemployment insurance financing, state debt affordability, and the fiscal systems of the New England states. Prior to joining the Boston Fed, Ms. Weiner performed health economics and outcomes research for a Boston-based consulting firm and conducted policy analyses for the former Massachusetts Division of Health Care Finance and Policy. Originally from New Hampshire, she holds a Master of Public Affairs from Princeton University and a BA in economics from Bates College. Jennifer's favorite place in New England is the top of West Rattlesnake Mountain in Holderness, New Hampshire. Email Jennifer.

Research Assistants

Joshua Ballance
As a Senior Research Assistant, Joshua conducts data analysis and research on economic and policy issues for the Center.  His research interests include labor economics, health economics, and public finance.  Originally from New Hampshire, Joshua received his BS from Bryant University in Economics and Actuarial Mathematics.  Prior to joining the Center, Joshua worked as a Research Assistant for the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency.  Joshua’s favorite place in New England is Odiorne Point State Park. Email Joshua.

Jingyi Huang
As a Research Assistant, Jingyi conducts data analysis and research on economic and policy issues for the Center. Her research interests include public finance, education policy and political economy. Originally from Chengdu, China, Jingyi received her BA from Mount Holyoke College in Mathematics/Economics and History. Jingyi's favorite place in New England is the Pioneer Valley. Email Jingyi.

The Center periodically invites researchers to serve as visiting scholars. Visiting scholars work on research about a public policy issue of relevance to New England and that complements the work of the Center. We are currently accepting applications for positions starting in 2015.

  • Current
    Visiting Scholars
  • Former
    Visiting Scholars
  • Publications by
    Visiting Scholars

Ronald Fisher
Ron is professor of economics and former Dean of the Honors College at Michigan State University. His academic and policy research concerns state and local government finance and taxation. He has authored the textbook State and Local Public Finance, served as Deputy Treasurer for the State of Michigan, and consulted for many governments including Connecticut and Maine. He has a Ph.D. in economics from Brown University.

David Merriman
David is a professor in the Department of Public Administration and the Institute of Government and Public Affairs at the University of Illinois,Chicago.  He is a frequent advisor to state and local governments.  His academic research focus on state and local public finance and urban economic development.  He received this PhD in Economics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Daniel Shoag
Daniel an assistant professor of public policy at Harvard Kennedy School and an affiliate of theTaubman Centerfor State and Local Government. His research focuses on fiscal policy, state and local pension plans, and regional macroeconomics. He received his Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University in 2011.

Reagan Baughman, Associate Professor of Economics, University of New Hampshire.

Patricia Cortes, Assistant Professor of Markets, Public Policy and Law, Boston University, School of Management

Susan Dynarski
, Associate Professor of Public Policy, Gerald R Ford School of Public Policy, University of Michigan

Ross Gittell, James R. Carter Professor, University of New Hampshire's Whittemore School of Business and Economics

Katherine Kiel, Associate Professor of Economics, College of the Holy Cross.

Brian Knight, Associate Professor of Economics and Public Policy, Brown University

Maria Luengo-Prado, Associate Professor of Economics,Northeastern University

Robert Mohr, Associate Professor of Economics, University of New Hampshire

Jessica Wolpaw Reyes, Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Amherst College

Lucie Schmidt, Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Williams College

Katherine Swartz, Professor of Health Policy and Economics, Harvard School of Public Health.

Bridget Terry-Long, Associate Professor of Education and Economics, Harvard University Graduate School of Education

Philip Trostel, Professor of Economics and Public Policy, University of Maine

Tara Watson, Associate Professor, Department of Economics, Williams College

Richard Woodbury, National Bureau of Economic Research

Jeffrey Zabel, Associate Professor of Economics, Tufts University

Junfu Zhang, Assistant Professor of Economics, Clark University

Foreign Nurse Importation to the United States and the Supply of Native Registered Nurses
by Patricia Cortés and Jessica Pan
Working Paper No. 14-7

Immigrants as a Potential Source of Growth for New England’s Highly Skilled Workforce
by Tara Watson
NEPPC Policy Brief No. 13-4

Enforcement and Immigrant Location Choice
by Tara Watson
Research Department Working Paper No. 13-10 (

The Supplemental Security Income Program and Welfare Reform
by Lucie Schmidt, Williams College
Public Policy Discussion Paper No. 12-3 (June 2012)

Childhood Lead and Academic Performance in Massachusetts
by Jessica W. Reyes, Amherst College
NEPPC Working Paper No. 11-3 (August 2011)

Unaffordable Housing and Local Employment Growth
by Ritashree Chakrabarti, IHS Global Insight and Junfu Zhang, Clark University
NEPPC Working Paper No. 10-3 (June 2010)

Spatial Competition and Cross-border Shopping: Evidence from State Lotteries
by Brian Knight, Brown University and Nathan Schiff, University of British Columbia
NEPPC Working Paper No. 10-1 (January 2010)

The Struggle for Tax Reform in Maine, 2003-2009
by Richard Woodbury, former Maine State Representative and National Bureau of Economic Research
NEPPC Discussion Paper No. 09-2 (September 2009)

House Prices and Risk Sharing
by Dmytro Hryshko, University of Alberta, María José Luengo-Prado Northeastern University and NEPPC Visiting Scholar, Bent E. Sørensen , University of Houston and CEPR
NEPPC Working Paper No. 09-3 (August 2009)

The Role of the Housing Market in the Response to Employment Shocks
by Jeffrey Zabel, Tufts University
NEPPC Working Paper No. 09-2 (July 2009)

Public-Private Partnerships, Cooperative Agreements, and the Production of Public Services in Small and Rural Municipalities
by Robert D. Mohr, University of New Hampshire, Steven Deller, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and John Halstead, University of New Hampshire
NEPPC Working Paper No. 08-4 (June 2008)

The Lengthening of Childhood
by David Deming and Susan Dynarski, Harvard Kennedy School, Harvard University
NEPPC Working Paper No. 08-3 (June 2008)

The Labor Market for Direct Care Workers
by Reagan Baughman and Kristin Smith, University of New Hampshire
NEPPC Working Paper No. 07-4 (November 2007)

The Impact of Wetlands Rules on the Prices of Regulated and Proximate Houses: A Case Study
by Katherine A. Kiel, College of the Holy Cross
NEPPC Working Paper No. 07-3 (November 2007)

The Fiscal Impact of College Attainment
by Philip A. Trostel, University of Maine
NEPPC Working Paper No. 07-2 (November 2007)

Do Loans Increase College Access and Choice?
Examining the Introduction of Universal Student Loans

by Bridget Terry Long, Harvard Graduate School of Education and NBER
NEPPC Working Paper No. 07-1 (November 2007)


The New England Public Policy Center’s Advisory Board advises Center staff on how to disseminate its research strategically to policy makers and thought leaders in the New England region.

  • Kate Brewster, Executive Director, Economic Progress Institute
    Kate became the Executive Director of The Institute in September 2004. Kate is responsible for the overall management of the organization, including fund development, planning and evaluation, fiscal management, and public policy analysis and advocacy. Kate has taught social policy and case management at the Rhode Island College School of Social Work. Prior to this, Kate worked for the state’s Medicaid programs RIte Share and RIte Care. Kate received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology from the University of Rhode Island and a Master of Social Work degree from Rhode Island College.
  • Michael Allen, Associate Commissioner for Tax Policy, Maine Revenue Services
    Michael oversees the bureau’s tax models, and their application to forecasting tax receipts and estimating the impact of proposed legislation on state revenue. Prior to becoming director, Michael was a staff economist with the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Tax Analysis. Michael has written papers on estimating Maine’s state and local tax burden, forecasting capital gains taxes, taxpayer compliance, and property tax relief programs. Michael has taught economics at Bentley College, Boston College and Thomas College. Michael has a Bachelors in economics from the University of Vermont and Ph.D. in economics from Boston College.
  • Alan Calandro, Director, Office of Fiscal Analysis, Connecticut General Assembly
    Alan leads the Connecticut legislature's nonpartisan budget office, the Office of Fiscal Analysis (OFA). OFA analyzes and helps develop the state's budget and revenue packages and conducts fiscal analysis of legislation and legislative proposals. Alan has previous experience as a business manager and also serves on the executive board of the National Association of Legislative Fiscal Officers. Alan holds a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Connecticut and a master's degree in government from the College of William and Mary.
  • John Dorrer, Consultant
    John is a consultant focused on improving the performance of workforce development programs by applying innovative labor market research and outcomes-based program evaluation within a strategic planning framework. He advises policy leaders; counsels executives and works closely with managers and staff to formulate a vision, develop plans of action and guide practical implementation. He currently serves as a senior advisor at Georgetown University’s Center on Education and the Workforce. Over the past 35 years, Dorrer has worked at the local, state and national level in a variety of leadership, executive and technical roles. He has been widely recognized for his work in developing and implementing data-driven program improvement strategies, championing innovations in data systems and managing high performance programs and organizations.
  • Benjamin Forman, Research Director, MassINC
    MassInc. is a nonpartisan public policy think tank. Ben coordinates the development of the organization’s research agenda and oversees production of research reports. He has authored a number of publications across a range of public policy topics central to growth and development in the Commonwealth. Previously, Ben served as a researcher at the Brookings Institution in Washington, DC. Ben also has both public and private sector experience. He oversaw strategic planning for the District of Columbia Department of Parks and Recreation, and worked as a consultant at Nathan Associates, a global economic development consulting firm. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in economics from Trinity College and a Master’s degree in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
  • Michael Goodman, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Public Policy, UMass Dartmouth’s School of Education, Public Policy and Civic Engagement (SEPPCE)
    Michael is Chair and Associate Professor of the Department of Public Policy, School of Education, Public Policy and Civic Engagement, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. The School of Education, Public Policy and Civic Engagement serves to mobilize and re-organize university faculty and staff to confront the economic and social challenges facing the citizens and communities of our region and the Commonwealth. Prior to Michael’s current role within the University of Massachusetts system, Michael was Director of Economic & Public Policy Research at the University of Massachusetts Donahue Institute for eight years. Michael received his M.A. and Ph.D. from Boston University.
  • Curt Grimm, Deputy Director, Carsey School of Public Policy
    The Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire is a nationally acclaimed resource for research, leadership development, and engaged scholarship relevant to public policy. As Deputy Director, Curt contributes to the day-to-day administration and helps the Carsey School grow and develop. He provides leadership and oversight for several of Carsey’s sustainable development and indicator research projects, and he participates in a number of evaluation activities. Curt earned his B.A. in Anthropology and History from the University of New Hampshire and a M.A. and Ph.D. in Anthropology from the State University of New York at Binghamton.
  • Jason Guilietti, Director of Corporate Relations, University of Connecticut
    Jason is responsible for corporate relations for the University of Connecticut. Prior to joining the University of Connecticut, Jason was a research economist for the Connecticut Business and Industry Association (CBIA). Jason is currently the President of the Board of Directors for the New England Economic Partnership and President of the Hartford Area Business Economists, a chapter of National Association of Business Economics. He holds an MPA from University of Connecticut and Bachelors in political science from the University of Connecticut.
  • Kil Huh, Director, State and Local Fiscal Health, Pew Charitable Trusts
    Kil leads Pew’s work on state and local fiscal health and economic growth, which includes projects that seek to strengthen states’ fiscal planning and budgeting and how they use tax incentives for economic development, track and analyze states’ health care spending, and provide officials with analysis and insights on the financial conditions of America’s largest cities. As the project lead, Huh oversees Pew’s work to inform state policy on a wide range of issues including state and local public sector retirement benefits, state tax systems, and housing finance. He also supervises a vigorous research portfolio that has contributed to federal and state legislation and has been cited widely in national media including, The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, and NPR. Huh has appeared as a guest on Fox Business News, CBS Nightly News, and both PBS’s News Hour and Nightly Business Report. Prior to joining Pew, he was most recently the director of policy and consulting at the Fannie Mae Foundation and previously manager of the foundation’s state and local initiatives. He holds a B.S. in urban regional studies from Cornell University, a M.S. in urban planning from New York University and both a M.Phil. and a Ph.D. in urban planning from Columbia University.
  • Thomas Kavet, Co-founder and President, Kavet, Rockler and Associates, LLC
    Tom is President of Kavet, Rockler and Associates, economic consultants offering professional services in the areas of: economics, public policy analysis, demographics, regional economic modeling, information systems and business economics. Since 1996 the firm’s principals have served as Consulting Economists to the Vermont State Legislature. Tom specializes in regional economics, public policy analysis, economic forecasting, marketing, information systems and strategic planning, primarily serving clients engaged in real estate, construction, building products manufacturing, state and federal government, and environmental information. Tom holds a B.A. in Economics from Columbia University, Columbia College.
  • Daphne Kenyon, Principal, D.A. Kenyon & Associates
    Daphne is the principal of D.A. Kenyon & Associates, a public finance consulting firm specializing in analysis of healthcare, education and tax policy issues. Daphne earned her B.A. in Economics from Michigan State University and both her M.A. and Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan.
  • Stephen Klein, Chief Fiscal Officer, Vermont Legislative Joint Fiscal Office
    The Legislative Joint Fiscal Office provides non-partisan information and research services to all members of the Vermont General Assembly on revenue and budget and fiscal policy issues. In his capacity, Stephen supervises staff, works with legislative leadership in fiscal policy development and coordinates the fiscal research activities in off session periods. Stephen received his A.B. from the University of California, Berkeley, a M. A. in Urban Studies & Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and his J.D. from Northeastern University School of Law.
  • Steven Poftak, Executive Director, Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University
    Steven is the Executive Director of the The Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston, which strives to improve the governance of Greater Boston by strengthening connections between the region’s scholars, students, and civic leaders.
  • Susan Mesner, Deputy State Auditor, Office of the Vermont State Auditor
    Susan Mesner currently serves as the Vermont Deputy State Auditor. She served for 12 years as Research Economist in the Vermont Department of Taxes prior to coming to the Auditor’s office. At the Tax Department, Susan’s work involved estimating fiscal impacts of tax-related proposals and federal tax changes, producing statistical and expenditure reports, and developing modeling capacity for tax reform initiatives. She was a key member of the senior staff and played a central role in the development of policy initiatives, testifying frequently to legislative committees and working closely with other departments within the administration and the Joint Fiscal Office. Susan holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Vermont and a master’s degree in economics from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.
  • Steve Norton, Director, New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies
    The New Hampshire Center for Public Policy Studies is an independent, nonpartisan organization that pursues data-based research on public policy matters, develops options, informs policy makers and advises them about choices for action. Steve holds a Masters of Public Policy, Health Economics from Georgetown University and a Bachelors degree from Wesleyan University.
  • Judith K. Resnick, Executive Director, Connecticut Business & Industry Association’s Education Foundation
    As the Executive Director of the Education Foundation, Judith manages initiatives designed to help the state’s businesses become more competitive by developing a skilled workforce. CBIA’s Education Foundation was founded in 1983. Its mission is to help prepare a skilled workforce for Connecticut employers through the creation of public-private sector partnerships in education and job training. Prior to joining CBIA, Judith was the director of strategic planning and workforce development at the Connecticut Department of Administrative Services. She founded the Business & Industry Services Network for the Connecticut Community College System and served as its state director for 12 years. She also served as the director of marketing for America Works of Connecticut. She has a B.A in education from the University of Michigan and an M.S. in Higher Education from Indiana University.
  • Amanda Rector, State Economist, State of Maine
    Amanda conducts ongoing analysis of Maine's economy to inform planning and policy decisions, including performing special research projects undertaken with and for the Governor's office, the Legislature and other state agencies. She also serves as the Governor's liaison to the U. S. Census Bureau, is a member of the Revenue Forecasting Committee, and supports the director of the Office of Policy and Management on economic and tax policy issues affecting Maine. Amanda has a BA in Economics from Wellesley College and a Master's degree in Public Policy from the Muskie School of Public Service.
  • Sharon Reynolds Ferland, House Fiscal Advisor, Rhode Island House of Representatives
    Sharon has led the Rhode Island Legislature’s House Fiscal Advisory Staff, which she joined in 1997, since 2009. As the professional staff for the House Committee on Finance, its major function is to perform fiscal research and analysis for the House, its committees, and individual legislators. She has also served on the executive on the executive board of the National Association of Legislative Fiscal Offices. Sharon received her undergraduate degree in Political Science from the University of Rochester and a Masters in Public Administration from the University of Rhode Island.
  • Craig Sandler, CEO, State House News, Massachusetts
    Craig Sandler is co-owner and general manager of the State House News Service, an independent wire service covering state government and politics in depth. Craig is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government.
  • John Simmons, Executive Director, Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council
    As the Executive Director of the Rhode Island Public Expenditure Council (RIPEC), John and is responsible for the development, administration and promotion of an applied research and public education program on a broad range of fiscal, public policy and public administration issues affecting state and local governments. Mr. Simmons has a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Hartford and a Bachelors degree from Central Connecticut State University.
  • Navjeet Singh, Deputy Director, National Fund for Workforce Solutions
    The National Fund for Workforce Solutions is an initiative of national and local funders whose goal is the career advancement of low-wage workers using a model of substantial employer engagement to increase the potential for successful outcomes. Navjeet has more than 25 years of experience in workforce and economic development, and in the technology sector. Most recently he served as vice president at Commonwealth Corporation leading its Applied Research and Evaluation team that researches trends in education and workforce, and measures the success of related programs. He also worked on projects such as evaluation of sector partnerships, analysis of labor supply and demand, and studies of the health care and manufacturing workforce. Navjeet holds a Bachelor's in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, his MBA from the Indian Institute of Management in Ahmedabad, and a Master's from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.


Throughout the year, the New England Public Policy Center offers a limited number of internships. We look for outstanding graduate and undergraduate students to assist us with research in the fields of applied economics and public policy. Typically, interns are assigned to projects which involve quantitative and qualitative analysis and are required to independently perform data collection, statistical and econometric analysis, literature reviews, and writing tasks.

Summer Internships

Summer internships are full-time, paid, and generally last ten to twelve weeks. When a position is available, applications are solicited through the research department.

Academic-Year Internships

The Center also periodically offers academic-year internships that are unpaid and require that the student receive academic credit. Students are asked to commit to at least 16-20 hours per week for an entire semester. Please contact the Center if you are interested in an academic internship.