Working Conference on CSA Research Speakers
Behar Akman Imboden
Bahar is the director of research at Inversant. She is an experienced research professional focused on issues related to social justice and development. Her interest in Children's Savings Accounts (CSAs) was sparked in 2012, when she researched the feasibility and desirability of a CSA pilot program for The Special Commission on Educational Scholarships in Massachusetts. Since, she has led the research and evaluation efforts of Inversant's partnering sites and has collaborated with Harvard scholars to conduct a longitudinal qualitative and quantitative study of Inversant's Chelsea program. Bahar holds a PhD in Political Science from McGill University.
Joe Antolín serves as the Executive Director of Asset Funders Network, guiding their efforts to advance economic opportunity for low and middle income people through philanthropy, and effectively move to address wealth inequality. Previous roles include senior vice president of Heartland Alliance and serving as a leader in non-profit, state government, and civil rights litigation. He served as a coach mentor for the W.K. Kellogg Foundation's Community Leadership Fellowship. Mr. Antolín holds a J.D. from Columbus School of Law at Catholic University and received his Bachelor of Arts with Honors from Wesleyan University.
Ray Boshara is senior adviser and director of the Center for Household Financial Stability at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. Boshara is also a senior fellow in the Financial Security Program at The Aspen Institute. Prior to joining the Fed, he was Vice President of New America, a DC-based think-tank. He has published in The New York Times and The Washington Post, testified before the U.S. Congress, and advised leading policymakers in the U.S. and worldwide. With Phil Longman, he published The Next Progressive Era in 2009. Boshara graduated from The Ohio State University, Yale Divinity School, and the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard.
Sol Carbonell, Assistant Vice President of Regional and Community Outreach, is part of the leadership team that oversees the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston's community development efforts. The Regional and Community Outreach Department promotes economic growth in lower-income communities by conducting research, engaging stakeholders and investigating approaches that have the potential to produce substantial impact on the lives of low- and moderate-income residents. Prior to joining the bank, she served as Associate, National Priorities, for a national consumer education organization. Carbonell holds a Master in Public Administration from Harvard's Kennedy School of Government and has been a Fellow of the National Hispana Leadership Institute, The Partnership Inc., and the Center for Creative Leadership. Carbonell has served as board member and advisor to a number of non-profits, and is now an Overseer at the Boston Museum of Science. She has received numerous awards for her community and research contributions, including recognitions by Congress, "Top 40 under 40" by InBusiness Magazine and "Emerging Leader" by the Boston Business Journal.
Treasurer José Cisneros
As elected Treasurer for the City and County of San Francisco since 2005, José Cisneros serves as the City's banker and Chief Investment Officer. Treasurer Cisneros believes that his role of safeguarding the City's money extends to all San Francisco residents, and continues to expand his role as a financial educator and advocate for low-income San Franciscans through award-winning programs like Kindergarten to College, Bank On San Francisco and the Financial Justice Project. Cisneros served as Vice Chair on the President's Advisory Council on Financial Capability for Young Americans, and is currently Co-Chair of the Cities for Financial Empowerment Coalition.
Margaret Clancy is Policy Director at the Center for Social Development at Washington University in St. Louis. Margaret is responsible for design and leadership of large-scale policy demonstrations, including the SEED for Oklahoma Kids experiment. Since 2001, she has researched features of 529 college savings plans as a model for inclusive CDA policy, and is an expert on progressive 529 policies in the states. She led the Account Monitoring research in SEED, a national CDA policy and research initiative, and for ADD, the first national study of IDAs. Prior to joining CSD, she administered corporate 401(k) retirement savings plans.
Frank F. DeGiovanni
Frank F. DeGiovanni retired from the Ford Foundation in April, 2016. At the time of his retirement, he was Senior Advisor to the President of the foundation, advising the foundation's regional offices and thematic areas on strategy development. Previously, he served as Director of the Financial Assets unit at the foundation, where he led the foundation's worldwide efforts to build financial assets for disadvantaged people through grants and program-related investments. This work focused on savings, individual asset development, rural livelihood development, and consumer financial services, as well as program-related investments to organizations that use capital to achieve their charitable mission. He currently consults to nonprofit organizations and serves on the board of the New Hampshire Endowment for Health and Trickle Up. He has a Ph.D. and master's degree in City and Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Dr. Elliott is a professor at the University of Michigan's School of Social Work. He is the founding director of the Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion (AEDI) and a leading researcher in the fields of children's savings, student debt, and wealth inequality. Numerous news and media outlets such as the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal have featured his work. He has a new co-authored book coming out with Oxford Press in August of 2018, "Making Education Work for the Poor: The Potential of Children's Savings Accounts".
Jeffrey (Jeff) Fuhrer
Jeffrey (Jeff) Fuhrer is Executive Vice President and Senior Policy Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, and is an advisor to the Bank's regional and community outreach department and is responsible for the Bank's diversity and inclusion functions. He has been an associate economist of the Federal Open Market Committee, and regularly attends this key U.S. policymaking meeting with the Bank's president. In June 1992 he joined the Bank's research department as an assistant vice president and economist, and from 1995–2001 headed its Open Economy Macro/International section. In 2000 Fuhrer was named senior vice president and monetary policy advisor, in 2001 he became director of research, and in 2006 he was named executive vice president.
Fuhrer began his career at the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, first as a research assistant, and then in 1985 returned as a senior economist after earning his doctorate. He has been active in economic research for more than three decades, and has served as an associate editor for the American Economic Review. Fuhrer has published numerous scholarly papers on the interactions among monetary policy, inflation, consumer spending, and asset prices. He has been married for 36 years and has three grown children. Fuhrer earned an A.B. in economics with highest honors from Princeton University, and received his M.A. and Ph.D. in economics from Harvard University.
Kelly Harrington is Research and Program Manager of the Office of Economic Empowerment at the Massachusetts Treasurer's Office, where she develops and implements evaluation plans for a compendium of programs, including two children's savings account programs and the Treasurer's 12-week paid parental leave policy, with the goal of improving economic opportunity among Massachusetts residents. She previously held positions with the Kansas Department of Health and Environment and the Work Group for Community Health and Development. She holds a Master's of Social Welfare from the University of Kansas (KU), where she was a research assistant for the Center on Assets, Education, and Inclusion (AEDI), and a B.A. from St. Olaf College.
Bob Hildreth is the founder of Inversant. Following a career in Latin American finance at the IMF, Citibank, Drexel Burnham Lambert, and his own brokering company, International Bank Services, Bob turned his sights to active philanthropy. Coming from a family of educators, he subsequently focused his energies on education reform in the US with particular attention to low income populations. Bob turned to his financial background to create a matched savings program that became the basis for Inversant. His intent from the outset has been to use a monetary reward system as a means for motivating aspirational behavior.
Treasurer Tishaura O. Jones
Tishaura O. Jones is the first woman to serve as Treasurer in the history of St. Louis. She is the city's chief investment and cash management officer, and manages the city's parking division. Treasurer Jones was recently elected to her second term. She launched the College Kids Children's Savings Account Program, which provides college savings accounts to all kindergarten students in St. Louis Public Schools. Each account is opened with $50 in seed money that is provided by residual revenue from the city's parking division. Treasurer Jones has a Master's degree in Health Administration from the Saint Louis University School of Public Health, a Bachelor's degree in Finance from Hampton University, and is a graduate of the Executives in State and Local Government program at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government.
Rebecca Loya is a Senior Research Associate at the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at the Heller School for Social Policy and Management, Brandeis University. At IASP, Becca conducts research on family economic stability and the gendered and racialized nature of economic inequalities in the U.S. Her recent work on Children's Savings Accounts includes providing strategic support to the Mott Foundation and its CSA grantees, as well as research on CSA features and outcomes, diffusion, and funding sources. Becca holds a PhD in Social Policy from the Heller School and a Master's degree in Psychology from Stanford University.
Shira Markoff is Associate Director for Children's Savings at Prosperity Now, where she manages the organization's work to support the development and operational success of Children's Savings Account (CSA) programs through providing technical assistance, engaging in state and local advocacy, and developing resources for the field. Previously, she worked as Program Manager for Seedco, where she supported community-based organizations in implementing programs that assisted low-income families in accessing benefits and tax credits. Shira also served two years as an AmeriCorps VISTA helping to implement an IDA program. She holds a Master's in Public Policy from American University and a B.A. from Rutgers University.
Colleen Quint is the President & CEO of the Alfond Scholarship Foundation, which provides a $500 grant for college to every Maine resident baby. ASF also works with families and with partners across the state to increase student aspirations and outcomes through educational messaging and by encouraging family savings for college. Prior to her tenure at ASF, she was the founding Executive Director of the Senator George J. Mitchell Scholarship Research Institute. Colleen holds a B.A. from Bates College and a J.D. from University of Maine School of Law. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Nellie Mae Education Foundation and on the Board of Androscoggin Head Start. Colleen lives in Minot, Maine with her family.
Carl Rist has spent 25 years at Prosperity Now (formerly CFED), working on a variety of strategies to expand economic opportunity and help lower-income households build wealth and financial security. Presently, Mr. Rist is the Director of Children's Savings and a Senior Advisor on Asset Building. In this capacity, Mr. Rist directs CFED's efforts, including field building, public policy advocacy, and consulting services, to ensure that more than a million low-income children have access to children's savings accounts (CSAs). Mr. Rist earned an M.A. in public policy in 1991 from the Sanford Institute of Public Policy at Duke University. He also holds an undergraduate degree from Davidson College.
Jessica is the Director of Community-Engaged Research at the Institute on Assets and Inequality at Brandeis where she conducts research on racial inequality, workforce development and diversity, refugee and immigrant integration, and asset development. She holds a PhD in Social Policy from the Heller School for Social Policy and Management and Brandeis University and a Master of Arts in Sustainable Development from the School for International Training. Her current work is focused on learning from the intersections of research and practice to reduce inequality and bring innovative policy and program solutions to scale.
Trina Shanks is currently Associate Professor at the University of Michigan School of Social Work. She has a Ph.D. in Social Work from Washington University and a Masters in Comparative Social Research from the University of Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. She has been a research investigator for the Saving for Education, Entrepreneurship, and Downpayment (SEED) program and consults with several other child savings account initiatives. She also evaluates Detroit's Summer Youth Employment Program. Her research interests include the impact of poverty and wealth on child well-being; asset-building policy and practice across the life cycle; and community and economic development.
Michael Sherraden, PhD, is the George Warren Brown Distinguished University Professor and founding director of the Center for Social Development (CSD) at Washington University in St Louis. CSD conceives and tests social innovations. Sherraden's research on civic service--National Service (1982) and The Moral Equivalent of War? (1990)—contributed to the creation of AmeriCorps in 1993. His research on asset building—Assets and the Poor (1991), Inclusion in the American Dream (2005), Assets and Low Income Families (2008), and Asset Building Innovations and Strategies in Asia (2014)—has informed asset building policies in the United States and many other countries. At the present time, CSD also supports bodies of work in inclusive housing, decarceration, race and social mobility, and environment and social justice. Among other awards, Sherraden has been a Fulbright Scholar and was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people in the world.