Whitney Airgood-Obrycki is a Research Associate, working on research related to affordable rental housing for low-income households and serving as the project manager and lead author on America’s Rental Housing 2020. Her working papers have examined the housing needs of older adult renters, suburban neighborhood change, and affordable housing supply gaps for families. Her research has been published in Housing Policy Debate, Urban Studies, and Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space with a forthcoming article in the Journal of Urban Affairs. 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.
Corinna Anderson is the Publications Coordinator. She manages production of working papers, blogs, and other research, handles copyright inquiries, and supports other communications projects at the Center. She brings experience from architectural publishing and curating, most recently at the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Corinna holds an MA in Architectural History from the Bartlett School of Architecture, University College London, and a BA in Mathematics and Visual Arts from the University of Chicago.
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 the Events and Outreach Coordinator. He is responsible for supporting the Center's public outreach through the promotion and coordination of events and programs both on campus and around the country. 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. Kerry serves on the Housing Partnership Committee for the town of Burlington, Massachusetts. 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 Analyst, 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, housing affordability, and neighborhood change. 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.
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.
Mary Lancaster is the Associate Director for Finance and Administration. She is responsible for all financial and administrative functions of the Center, including managing all financial planning, financial operations, and serving as the primary administrator for sponsored research. She has worked at Harvard University for nearly 20 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.
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. Jennifer manages the Center’s work on housing for older adults and was lead author on the Center’s publications on older adults, including The State of the Nation’s Housing for Older Adults 2018 and 2019; Older Households 2015-2035: Projections and Implications for Housing a Growing Population (2016); and Housing America’s Older Adults: Meeting the Needs of an Aging Population (2014). She speaks widely on the importance of suitable and affordable housing for America’s older adults and has written about the role of housing in wellbeing and health in older age. Jennifer’s work has also touched on housing affordability. She was a co-editor of the 2018 book A Shared Future: Fostering Communities of Inclusion in an Era of Inequality and the 2014 book Homeownership Built to Last: Balancing Access, Affordability, and Risk After the Housing Crisis. Prior to joining the Center, Jennifer served as Chief Planner for Long Range Planning in Newton, MA; researcher at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy; Associate Director of Issues at the Municipal Art Society of New York; and as a member of the Planning Boards in Cambridge and Newton, 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.
Samara Scheckler is a Postdoctoral Fellow working on projects related to community-based aging. She researches best practices to maximize health, independence, and quality of life for people with a range of abilities and needs. Her work pays particular attention to the influence of the physical environment on policy implementation as well as disparities in access to resources. Previously, Samara coordinated the care of individuals with disabilities living in both institutions and private residences. Samara received her Ph.D. from the University of Georgia in Public Administration and Policy.
Sophia Wedeen is a Research Assistant, working on projects related to residential remodeling activity and affordable rental housing. Prior to joining the Center, Sophia worked as an analyst for the City of Boston, where she studied property tax policy and administered the Community Preservation Act exemption program. She has also worked at the Initiative on Cities, the Boston University Department of Political Science, and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Sophia holds a B.A. in Political Science with a minor in Economics from Boston University.
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.