Meet the Judges

Get helpful feedback from experts selected for their knowledge and expertise.

Evaluation Panel

Evaluation Panel members will score and provide feedback on the applications assigned to them using the scoring rubric, and each valid application will receive five sets of reviews that have been statistically normalized. Informed by the resulting rank order of applications after Evaluation Panel review, up to five Finalists will be named. 

Randy Albelda

Professor & Senior Research Fellow, University of Massachusetts Boston

Randall Akee

Associate Professor of Public Policy, American Indian Studies, UCLA

M. V. Lee Badgett

Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Megan Bang

Senior Vice President, Spencer Foundation

Tim Bartik

Senior Economist, W.E. Upjohn Institute for Employment Research

Lisa Bates

Associate Professor, Portland State University

Scott Bernstein

Founder, Center for Neighborhood Technology

Sarah Bohn

Director of Research & Senior Fellow, Public Policy Institute of California

Thomas Boston

Professor Emertius of Economics & International Affairs, Georgia Tech

Frank Britt

CEO, Penn Foster

​Jyothsna Buddharaju

Senior Director, Special Initiatives, Boston University

William Buster

Executive Vice President, Community Investments, St. David's Foundation

Geoffrey Canada

President, Harlem Children's Zone

​Elizabeth U. Cascio

Associate Professor of Economics, Dartmouth College

Karen Chapple

Professor & Chair of City & Regional Planning, University of California, Berkeley

Eric Chatman

Executive Vice President & CFO, Housing Partnership Network

Sam Cobbs

President, Tipping Point Community

Betsy Cohen

Executive Director, World Trade Center St. Louis

Celia Cole

CEO, Feeding Texas

Dalton Conley

Professor of Sociology, Henry Putnam University

Harin Contractor

Director of Workforce Policy, Joint Center for Political & Economic Studies

Salvador Contreras

Associate Professor of Economics, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley

Reid Cramer

Director, Asset Building Program, New America

​Sheldon H. Danziger

President, Russell Sage Foundation

Mekaelia Davis

Director, Inclusive Economies Surdna Foundation

Melany De La Cruz-Viesca

Associate Director, Asian American Studies Center, UCLA

David Dodson

President, MDC

Patricia Donahue

Policy Fellow, George Mason University

Andrew Dunckelman

Head of Education & Economic Opportunity,

​Gerard D’Souza

Dean, College of Agriculture & Human Sciences, Prairie View A&M University

Elizabeth Ellison

President & CEO, Lobeck Taylor Family Foundation

Ellie Forman

Vice President, Corporate Community Relations, Mesirow Financial

Jesscia Fulton

Economic Policy Director, The Joint Center for Political & Economic Studies

Dreama Gentry

Executive Director, Partners for Education, Berea College

Bob Giloth

Vice President, Center for Economic Opportunity, Annie E. Casey Foundation

Susan Gooden

Interim Dean, School of Government, Virginia Commonwealth University

Christopher Grandy

Retired Professor, University of Hawaii (Manoa)

Bob Greenstein

Founder & President, Center on Budget & Policy Priorities

Raquel Hatter

Managing Director, Human Services Program, The Kresge Foundation

​Hilary Hoynes

Professor of Economics & Public Policy, University of California Berkeley

Catherine Ipsen

Assoc. Director, Rural Institute on Inclusive Communities; Director, Research and Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities, University of Montana

Jay Jaffe

President, Actuarial Enterprises, Ltd.

Ianna Kachoris

Senior Director, Policy and Advocacy, Chicago Community Trust

Kilolo Kijakazi

Institute Fellow, Urban Institute

Jim King

CEO & President, Fahe

Rachel Korberg

Program Officer, Ford Foundation

Haydar Kurban

Director, Howard University Center on Race and Wealth

Ronald A. Johnson

Fmr. President, Clark Atlanta University

Susan Lambert

Associate Professor University of Chicago

Renée Landers

Professor of Law, Suffolk University Law School

Henry Lanier

Board Member, Westport, MA Affordable Housing Trust Fund

Anne Lebleu

Principal, BDT & Company

Ruth Lopez Turley

Professor, Department of Sociology, Rice University

Odetta Macleish-White

Managing Director, TransFormation Alliance

Dwayne Marshall

Vice President, Community Foundation of Greater Chattanooga

Annalisa Mastri

Senior Researcher, Mathematica

Aparna Mathur

Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

Patrick McCarthy

Fmr. President & CEO, Annie E. Casey Foundation

Heather McGhee

Distingushed Senior Fellow, Demos

Tawa Mitchell

Senior Program Officer, Chicago Commitment, John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation

Fernando Montejo

Senior Officer, Economic Prosperity Community, Solve MIT

Jennifer Ng'andu

Managing Director, Program, Robert Wood Johnson Foundation

Paul Ong

Research Professor, Luskin School of Public Affairs, UCLA

Al Osborne

Senior Associate Dean & Professor of Global Economics, UCLA

Deborah Padgett

Professor, New York University

Nisha Patel

Managing Director, Narrative Change & National Initiatives, Robin Hood Foundation

Lizz Pawlson

Senior Director, Portfolio Strategy & Management, Blue Meridan

​Hilary Pennington

Executive Vice President for Program, Ford Foundation

​James Peoples

Professor of Economics, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

Howard Pickett

Associate Professor of Ethics and Poverty Studies, Washington & Lee University

Maria Socorro Pesqueira

President, Healthy Communities Foundation

​Daniela Pineda

Vice President, Integration & Learning Division, First 5 LA

Dwight Poler

Senior Analyst, Bain Capital

Elena Chavez Quezada

Senior Director, Expanding Access to Opportunity, San Francisco Foundation

Lynette Rawlings

Founder & CEO, The Policy Academies

Craig Richardson

Founding Director, Center for the Study of Economic Mobility, Winston-Salem State University

Bob Reid

CEO, JF Maddox Foundation

Art D. Rodriguez

Vice President & Dean of Admissions & Financial Aid, Carleton College

Stephanie Russo Carroll

Assistant Professor, University of Arizona

​Kelly Suzanne Saulsberry

Director of Policy & Outreach, City of Chicago

​Rachel Schneider

Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Aspen Institute

​Steven G. Seleznow

President & CEO, Arizona Community Foundation

Eldar Shafir

Professor of Behavioral Science & Public Policy, Princeton University

Trina Shanks

Director of Community Engagement, University of Michigan

Thomas Shapiro

Director, Institute on Assets & Social Policy, Brandeis University

Lateefah Simon

President, Akonadi Foundation

Anne-Marie Slaughter

CEO, New America

Michael Smith

Director, Youth Opportunity Programs & Executive Director, My Brother’s Keeper Alliance, Obama Foundation

Robert D. Smulian

Executive Director, The Imlay Foundation

Brenda Solorzano

Headwaters Foundation

Laura Staley

Senior Officer, Gates Foundation

James Sullivan

Gilbert F. Schaefer College Professor of Economics, University of Notre Dame

​Anne Stuhldreher

Director, Financial Justice Project, County of San Francisco

David Takeuchi

Professor & Associate Dean for Faculty Excellence, University of Washington

Mark Turner

Founder and CEO, Optimal Solutions Group

Jennifer Wei

Organizational Effectiveness Officer, William & Flora Hewlett Foundation

Michelle Weise

Senior Vice President of Workforce Strategies, Strada Education Network

Rachel Welborn

Associate Director, Southern Rural Development Center

Harry Williams

President & CEO, Thurgood Marshall College Fund

​Claudia Withers

COO, Civil Rights Corps

​​Gay Young

Vice President, Donor Services, The New York Community Trust

Andrea Zopp

President & CEO, World Business Chicago

James Ziliak

Gatton Endowed Chair in Microeconomics, University of Kentucky

Karen Minkel

Home Regional Program Director, Walton Family Foundation

Jessica Kaczmarek

Senior Program Officer, The James Irvine Foundation

Angie Maxwell

Director, Diane D. Blair Center of Southern Politics & Society, University of Arkansas

Charmaine Mercer

Program Officer, William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Francia Harrington

Philanthropic Advisor, Margot & Tom Pritzker Family Foundation

Marianne Bertrand

Chris P. Dialynas Distinguished Service Professor of Economics, University of Chicago Booth School of Business

Zeenat Rahman

Director of the Inclusive America Project, Aspen Institute

Tulaine Montgomery

Managing Partner, New Profit

Jennifer Warlick

Associate Professor of Economics & Public Policy, University of Notre Dame

Larry Chavis

Clinical Associate Professor of Strategy & Entrepreneurship, University of North Carolina Kenan-Flagler Business School

William Evans

Keough-Hesburgh Professor of Economics, University of Notre Dame

Selection Committee

In partnership with Lever for Change, the Selection Committee will review the top-scoring submissions and select up to five Finalists based on considerations that may include, but are not limited to, rank order, organizational capacity, geographic diversity, and feasibility. The donor will make final determination of the Finalists and Winner of the Economic Opportunity Challenge. 

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