Whitney Airgood-Obrycki is a Research Analyst, working on research related to affordable and assisted rental housing, neighborhood change and reinvestment, and housing and health. Prior to joining the Center, she worked as a Graduate Research Associate and served as managing editor for the Journal of Planning Literature. Whitney holds a BA in History from Simmons College, an MS in Historic Preservation from Ball State University, and a PhD in City & Regional Planning from The Ohio State University.
Kermit Baker is a Senior Research Fellow at the Center and the Project Director of the Remodeling Futures Program. This research effort, which began in 1995, is the first comprehensive analysis of U.S. remodeling activity ever undertaken by the Center. Its goal is to develop an improved understanding of the dynamics of the U.S. repair and renovation industry so that businesses can better take advantage of the opportunities that this market offers.
Baker is also the Chief Economist for the American Institute of Architects in Washington, D.C. In this capacity he analyzes business and construction trends for the U.S. economy, and examines their impact on AIA members and the architectural profession.
Prior to joining the Center, Baker was vice-president and director of the economics department at Reed Business Information where he was responsible for industry forecasting. During his ten years at Reed he developed the Top U.S. Construction Market Report, and served as editor of the Reed Business Information's Construction Market Forecast newsletter.
Baker received his master's degree in Urban Planning from Harvard University, and holds a Ph.D. from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the same field.
James Chaknis is a Communications and Outreach Coordinator. He is responsible for the creative dissemination of the Center's research to diverse audiences within Harvard and beyond, and for supporting the Center's public outreach through the promotion and coordination of events and programs. After graduating from of the University of Florida, James spent several years working in event planning and outdoor retail management in Tampa, Florida, before moving to Boston.
Kerry Donahue is the Associate Director of Communications. In this role, she oversees the Center's external relations, digital media, and strategic communications. Kerry also manages the Center's Policy Advisory Board. She came to Harvard following fifteen years working in the music industry. She holds a Bachelor of Education degree from the University of New Brunswick in Canada, and a Master of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies (Business Management) from Harvard University.
Angela Flynn is the Center & Finance Coordinator. She works closely with the Associate Director of Finance and Administration, and is responsible for the day-to-day operations of the office and the financial transactions of the Center. Before joining Harvard, Angela—a Boston area native—worked for the New England Council. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in History from Wheaton College in Massachusetts.
Riordan Frost is a Research Assistant, working on projects related to demographics, residential mobility, and housing policy. Prior to joining the Center, he worked as a research and teaching assistant focusing on urban and environmental policy at American University, completed internships at Smart Growth America and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, and wrote about urban, transportation, and environmental policy at the think tank Minnesota 2020. Riordan received a PhD in Public Administration and a Master’s in Public Policy from American University, and a Bachelor’s in Philosophy from Connecticut College.
Alexander Hermann is a Research Analyst, working on projects related to housing markets, demographics, and housing policy. Prior to joining the Center, he worked as a grant writer at a Detroit nonprofit providing housing and treatment services to homeless populations. Alex received a Master’s in Public Policy and a Master’s in Urban Planning from the University of Michigan.
Elizabeth La Jeunesse is a Senior Research Analyst and a contributing researcher to the Remodeling Futures Program. Elizabeth works on a variety of research projects related to rental housing markets and affordability, healthy housing, energy efficiency and renewable energy, and residential remodeling markets. She contributes research to multiple reports including the Improving America’s Housing report and annual State of the Nation’s Housing report. Previously she worked as a Senior Economic Research Associate at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. While in Boston, Elizabeth also has worked as a Graduate Research Assistant at Boston College's Center on Wealth and Philanthropy. She holds a BS in Economics and a BA in Spanish from The Ohio State University, and a Master of Theological Studies degree from Boston College.
Mary Lancaster is the Associate Director for Finance and Administration. She is responsible for all aspects of the Center's financial operations and grants administration. She has worked at Harvard University for over ten years. Prior to coming to Harvard, she held various financial roles, including group business manager, at Ziff-Davis Publishing company for over 12 years. She holds a Master's of English from Tufts University and a BA from Northeastern University.
Hyojung Lee is a Postdoctoral Fellow, with research expertise in housing demography, urban/housing economics, and policy analysis.
His primary research interests focus on the impacts of demographic change on housing markets, the consequences of neighborhood change for urban policy, and the jointness of mobility, residential location, and housing tenure choice. His work has been published in Cityscape, Housing Policy Debate, Journal of Housing Economics, Journal of Regional Science, Journal of Economic and Social Measurement, Regional Science and Urban Economics, and Urban Affairs Review.
At the Center, he is currently working on research projects relating to the housing filtering process, ownership of rental properties, neighborhood change, and residential mobility.
He earned a Ph.D. in Urban Planning and Development and a Master of Planning from the University of Southern California and a Bachelor of Science and a Master of Science in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Seoul National University.
Daniel McCue is a Senior Research Associate. He is involved in much of the research and major reports produced by the Center, most notably in the signature annual State of the Nation’s Housing reports, for which he is project manager and lead author. His research has covered a wide range of housing-related issues related to demographics, homeownership and rental market trends, affordable housing policies and programs, mortgage markets, and other topics. Recently, he also created the Center’s latest household growth projections. Prior to joining the Center in 2005, Dan was an associate planner at the Berkshire Regional Planning Commission in Pittsfield, Massachusetts. He is a graduate of Williams College in Williamstown, Massachusetts and holds a Master in Urban Planning degree from the Harvard University Graduate School of Design.
Jennifer Molinsky is a Senior Research Associate at the Center and a Lecturer at the Graduate School of Design. At the Joint Center, she works on housing policy and planning issues including homeownership, housing for older adults, and land use regulation. She is a co-editor of the books, A Shared Future: Fostering Communities of Inclusion in an Era of Inequality (2018) and Homeownership Built to Last: Balancing Access, Affordability, and Risk After the Housing Crisis (2014). Jennifer has experience in urban planning from the research, municipal, nonprofit, and citizen planning perspectives, having served as Chief Planner for Long Range Planning in Newton, MA; researcher at Lincoln Institute of Land Policy; Associate Director of Issues at the Municipal Art Society of New York, and as a member of the Planning Board in Cambridge as well as other local planning committees. Jennifer has also held positions with Abt Associates and with PricewaterhouseCoopers’ government housing finance practice, where she worked on projects related to housing finance, affordable housing, and community development. She holds a Ph.D. in Urban Planning from MIT, a Masters of Public Affairs-Urban and Regional Planning from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton, and a B.A. from Yale.
Kristin Perkins is a Postdoctoral Fellow. She studies inequality and social stratification with a focus on families, households, and neighborhoods. Her research examines the consequences of residential mobility and changes in household composition for children’s educational outcomes, neighborhood inequality, and housing policy. Her work has been published in journals including Social Science Research, Urban Affairs Review, City & Community, and RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences. Prior to receiving her Ph.D. in Sociology and Social Policy at Harvard University, Kristin was a housing policy researcher at the New York City Department of Housing Preservation and Development. She received a Master of City Planning at the University of California, Berkeley, and a B.S. in Urban and Regional Studies at Cornell University.
Jonathan Spader is a Senior Research Associate. His work relates to a range of research areas including housing market conditions, affordability, and housing policy.
Previously, Jon worked in the housing and communities practice of Abt Associates where he served as the project director and technical lead for several evaluations of federal policies and programs. He has also worked for the Center for Community Capital, examining the homeownership experiences and outcomes of homebuyers in the Community Advantage Program Study.
Jon’s research on housing markets and policy has been published in Housing Policy Debate, the Journal of Housing Economics, the Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, and other outlets. He is co-editor of the book, A Shared Future: Fostering Communities of Inclusion in an Era of Inequality (2018). He holds a B.S. in History from Truman State University and a Ph.D. in Public Policy from the University of North Carolina.
Alexander von Hoffman is a Senior Research Fellow at the Center and Lecturer in the Urban Planning and Design department at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. An historian by training, he is the author of House by House, Block by Block: The Rebirth of America’s Urban Neighborhoods (Oxford University Press, 2003); Fuel Lines for the Urban Revival Engine: Neighborhoods, Community Development Corporations, and Financial Intermediaries (Fannie Mae Foundation, 2001); and Local Attachments: The Making of an American Urban Neighborhood, 1850 to 1920 (Johns Hopkins University Press, 1994). He has published many scholarly articles, including most recently “The Past, Present, and Future of Community Development in the United States” in Nancy O. Andrews and David J. Erickson, eds., Investing in What Works for America’s Communities (Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, 2012) and “History Lessons for Today’s Housing Policy: The Political Processes of Making Low-Income Housing Policy” in Housing Policy Debate (Summer 2012). Dr. von Hoffman has also written essays on housing and urban development for general-interest periodicals, including the Atlantic Monthly, New York Times, Chicago Tribune, and Boston Globe.
While at the Center, Dr. von Hoffman has written numerous working papers and case studies on urban development and housing policy and practice and directed a three-year project in collaboration with the U. S. Geological Survey entitled “Patterns and Process of Sprawl,” which explored metropolitan development since 1970. His current major research projects are a history of low-income housing policy in the United States; the emergence of the issue of the preservation of affordable housing; and the rise of regulatory barriers to housing development in greater Boston.
Prior to coming to the Center, Dr. von Hoffman was an associate professor of urban planning and design at the Harvard Graduate School of Design and a Fellow at the Taubman Center for State and Local Government of the Harvard Kennedy School. He received a BA in English and an MA in History from the University of Massachusetts Boston, an MA in History from Harvard University, and a Ph. D. from the Department of History at Harvard.
Abbe Will is a Research Associate and Associate Project Director of the Remodeling Futures Program. She manages and contributes research to the Improving America’s Housing report and research brief series and administers the quarterly Leading Indicator of Remodeling Activity (LIRA). Abbe’s areas of research within the residential remodeling industry focus on market size and composition, industry structure (such as contractor performance, survivorship, specialization, and concentration trends), changing household demographics, aging in place, market cycles, housing turnover, public and nonprofit rehabilitation programs, and drivers of immigrant remodeling activity. Prior to joining the Center in 2006, Abbe worked for Habitat for Humanity of Cape Cod, a local affiliate of Habitat for Humanity International, and as an AmeriCorps*VISTA with Massachusetts Campus Compact. Abbe holds a B.A. in economics from Kalamazoo College and an M.A. in applied economic policy analysis from Northeastern University.
Sean Veal is a Research Assistant, working on projects related to housing policy, homeownership, and housing affordability. Previously, Sean served as a planner for the City of Los Angeles, Department of City Planning where he performed professional city planning work implementing the Los Angeles municipal code and general plan. He earned a Master of Planning degree from the University of Southern California, and a Master of Public Policy and Administration degree from California Lutheran University.