Boston Fed announces 5 new members of the New England Public Policy Center advisory board Boston Fed announces 5 new members of the New England Public Policy Center advisory board

Members to advise regional research center on sharing work, informing policy Members to advise regional research center on sharing work, informing policy

May 4, 2022

The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston announced Wednesday that five new members are joining the advisory board of the New England Public Policy Center, including two professors, two state officials, and a nonprofit executive.

The center, or NEPPC, was founded in 2005. As part of the Bank's Research department, it informs regional policymaking by producing and sharing evidenced-based research and analysis on New England’s economic issues. Some of its recent work focused on education, the workforce, and household migration. Board members advise the center on emerging research and how to best share findings with policy leaders in their states and communities.

Boston Fed Vice President Jeffrey Thompson, the center’s director, said the new members all have expertise, perspective, and local connections that will strengthen the center’s research and ability to inform regional policy making.

“Our advisory board members are crucial to how we connect to the region,” he said. “We’re excited to welcome these five new members to the group, and we’re looking forward to the ways they help expand the center’s network and positive impacts.”

The new members of the advisory board are:

Rachel Grentencord is vice president of research at AdvanceCT, a nonprofit organization focused on engaging, retaining, and recruiting businesses in Connecticut. She has more than 15 years’ experience in real estate finance, asset management, and economic development. Prior to joining AdvanceCT, she worked as a portfolio manager at Doral Bank. Grentencord also served as the program director for real estate development at the Economic Development Corporation in New Haven, and as assistant vice president of asset management for First Winthrop Corporation in Boston.

Grentencord holds a master’s in international relations from Yale University and a bachelor’s in international economics from Valparaiso University.

Jane Kolodinsky is a professor in, and chair of, the department of Community Development and Applied Economics at the University of Vermont. She also directs the school’s Center for Rural Studies. Kolodinsky specializes in applied economics. Her recent research focuses on controversial food system policy issues, such as using subsidies to increase access to fresh food for families with limited resources. Kolodinsky has authored more than 200 academic publications and serves on the Board of Directors of the nonprofit Council on Food, Agriculture and Resource Economics.

Kolodinsky holds a Ph.D. in consumer economics from Cornell University, an MBA from Kent State University’s Graduate School of Management, and a bachelor’s in dietetics and nutrition from Kent State University. 

Daniel Lee is a professor of economics and data analytics at Plymouth State University’s School of Business, where he has developed courses on sports data analytics, legal analytics, and financial analytics, among other subjects. Lee has also partnered with the state of New Hampshire on economic research on the business community and tourism industry. Gov. Maggie Hassan appointed Lee to the New Hampshire Economic Development Advisory Council in 2013. In 2016, he was voted onto the New Hampshire’s committee of the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research.

Lee holds a Ph.D. in economics from Claremont Graduate University, a master’s from California State University Los Angeles, and a bachelor’s from California State University Domingues Hills. 

Mahesh Ramachandran is the chief economist for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development's Economic Research Division. Ramachandran’s team focuses on improving understanding around workforce inequalities and preparing the Commonwealth's economy for the future. He previously served as an environmental economist for the Cape Cod Commission, and he co-founded Smart Growth Economics and served as its chief economist. In that organization, he worked with Massachusetts cities to produce research on inclusive economic development and solutions for workforce housing.

Ramachandran holds a Ph.D. in Economics from Clark University and completed his post-doctorate work in economic development and spatial economics at Yale University. 

Manisha Srivastava is a policy coordinator and economist in the Data and Policy Analytics unit of the Connecticut Office of Policy & Management. Srivastava leads initiatives that use state data to inform policy, measure outcomes, and promote research. Srivastava was also part of the state’s COVID-19 response, establishing testing strategies and assisting with planning by helping determine the state’s financial needs. She previously served as a tax policy analyst and economist, and she has published research related to population and migration trends, the gender wage gap, and the 2008 financial crisis.

Srivastava holds a master’s in economics and a master’s in public administration from the University of Connecticut, and a bachelor’s in computer science from Rutgers University.

The advisory board, created in 2006, includes representatives from each New England state. View all 20 board members here, and learn more about the New England Public Policy Center here.

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