Visiting scholars are selected from the community development and education fields to enrich the New York Fed’s outreach and education programs.
Audrey Choi: Sustainable Finance Expert
Audrey Choi is a pioneer in the fields of corporate sustainability and sustainable finance. Her career has spanned the highest levels of finance, government and journalism, as a C-suite officer at Morgan Stanley, chief of staff of the White House Council of Economic Advisers and as bureau chief and foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal.
Choi was the first Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) on Wall Street. A trailblazer for sustainable investing, she proposed and founded the Morgan Stanley Global Sustainable Finance Group in 2009 and the Institute for Sustainable Investing in 2013. As CSO, she spearheaded the firm's groundbreaking Plastic Waste Resolution and the Sustainable Solutions Collaborative to scale breakthrough innovations to drive systemic change.
Choi also founded the firm's Community Development Finance Group in 2009 and led it for 10 years, investing more than $20 billion to strengthen low-income communities. Through targeted strategic partnerships with philanthropy and public policy, these investments were able to help catalyze the creation of more than 100,000 units of quality affordable housing integrated with access to affordable health care, equitable transit, and fresh and healthy food.
Choi graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Business School. She was a White House Fellow, Fulbright Scholar and David Rockefeller Fellow.
Areas of Interest: Innovative and Sustainable Financing.
Area of Engagement/Research: To examine strategies that can provide insight and best practices for systems change and scaling solutions in LMI communities.
Tenure: Through September 2024
Hanaa A. Hamdi: Public Health Expert
Hanaa A. Hamdi, Ph.D., is a system entrepreneur working to improve the health of people and communities. With more than two decades of research, practice and policy making, Dr. Hamdi has dedicated her career to advancing health equity among Black, Indigenous and other people of color, with a particular focus on women and children.
Most recently, Dr. Hamdi directed NJ Community Capital’s Health Impact Investment & Partnership Strategies Initiative, where she developed NJCC’s emerging community health investment and development strategies with regional and national health-focused partners, supporting the organization’s holistic approach to neighborhood revitalization. Hanaa is a board member of Children and Nature Network and investment committee member of Potlikker Capital Fund, a charitable loan fund dedicated to investing and advocating for BIPOC farmers.
Hanaa holds a joint Ph.D. in Public Health and Environmental Design from Rutgers University and New Jersey Institute of Technology.
Areas of Interest: Food Systems, Public Health, and Community Development Finance.
Area of Engagement/Research: To examine strategies that can leverage blended financing (bank CRA, healthcare Community Benefit, and anchor strategies) to build economic resilience among BIPOC farmers.
Tenure: Through July 2024
Hamdi, H. Access to Fresh, Affordable Food: A Basic Feature of Healthy Communities
The Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Doctor
Franck, J; Hamdi, H: Food Justice by R. Gottlieb and A. Joshi. Environmental Ethics (2013) 35 (1);127-138
Tyler Norris: Community Development Expert
Tyler Norris, M.Div., is a social entrepreneur and trusted advisor to philanthropies and partnerships working to improve the health of people and place. Most recently he served as the founding CEO of Well Being Trust, an impact philanthropy with a mission to advance the mental, social and spiritual health of the nation.
Tyler currently is Board Chair of Naropa University; co-Chair of the CEO Alliance for Mental Health; and a board member for Mindful Philanthropy, and the National Academies of Sciences' Child Well Being Forum.
Over the years he helped start Step Denver; facilitated the opening of the Abraham Path through the heart of the Middle East; and led the Kuhiston Foundation to help establish the national park system and micro-finance in Tajikistan.
Tyler is a graduate of Harvard Business School's Leadership Program, earned a Master of Divinity from Naropa University, and has a bachelor's in World Political Economy from Colorado College. Home is in Ketchum, Idaho and Oakland. California.
Areas of Interest: Health equity, CRA investments, social determinants of health
Working with the New York Fed: To investigate more effective leveraging of bank CRA investing, integrated with healthcare Community Benefit investing and application of anchor approaches, along with other community resources and structures to deliver sufficient dose for measurable impact at a population level.
Tenure: Through June 2024
Related Publications: www.wellbeingtrust.org
Maggie Super Church is an urban planner, designer, and innovator with more than two decades of experience leading interdisciplinary and cross-sector teams to build healthy, inclusive and thriving neighborhoods and cities. Her expertise includes climate and environmental sustainability, affordable housing, real estate and healthy food financing, and community economic development. Her research is focused on the impact of neighborhood conditions on community health, well-being and economic opportunity. She is a 1994 Truman Scholar and holds a master’s degree in City Planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a master’s degree in Urban Design from the Edinburgh College of Art, and a BA in Architecture from Yale University.
Areas of Interest: Climate finance, community development, impact investing, social determinants of health.
Area of Engagement/Research: To explore and conduct climate and health engagement and research in conjunction with research partners, health insurers, philanthropy and others related to upstream investments in the social drivers of health.
Tenure: Through December 2023
Related Publications: Investing in Health from the Ground Up: Building a Market for Healthy Neighborhoods; Using Data to Address Health Disparities and Drive investment in Healthy Neighborhoods; Healthy and Equitable Community Investment; Community Change and Resident Needs: Designing a Participatory Action Research Study in Metropolitan Boston.
Michael Swack is a professor at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire, where he teaches and directs the Center for Impact Finance. At Carsey, he is working on building scale in the community development finance sector, innovations in community development finance, and sustainable energy financing. He also directs the Financial Innovations Roundtable, an annual gathering, now in its 25th year which brings together finance practitioners from around the country to discuss and develop strategies to grow the field of community development finance. He was the founder and former dean of the School of Community Economic Development (CED) at Southern New Hampshire University.
Michael was the first chairman and served for seventeen years as a board member of the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA), a state-chartered equity fund for community economic development ventures and projects. He is the founding president and a current board member of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund. He was a founding board member of the National Association of Community Development Loan Funds (now the Opportunity Finance Network), a trade association of Community Development Finance Institutions.
Michael received his doctorate degree from Columbia University, his master’s degree from Harvard University, and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
Areas of Interest: Community Development Finance.
Area of Engagement/Research: To examine strategies that can provide insight and best practices for implementing CDFI funds.
Tenure: Through August 2024
Selected Related Publications:
A Path to Conventional Equity for CDFIs
Aligning Investments to Improve Population Health
CDFI Industry Analysis: Summary Report
Capital Markets, CDFIs, and Organizational Credit Risk
See our previous visiting scholars since the inception of the program in 2020.
Xavier de Souza Briggs: Distinguished Visiting Professor at New York University and Public Policy Expert
Xavier de Souza Briggs is a distinguished visiting professor, with a joint appointment at the Wagner School, the Business and Society Program at the Stern School of Business, and the Department of Sociology in the School of Arts and Sciences. He is an award-winning educator and researcher as well as an experienced manager in philanthropy and government.
Areas of Interest:
racial equity, philanthropy, housing affordability and equitable development; international development and impact investing
Tenure: January 2021
Nathaniel Counts: Mental Health America (Alexandria, VA) and Albert Einstein College of Medicine (Bronx, NY)
Nathaniel Counts serves as the Senior Vice President of Behavioral Health Innovation for Mental Health America (MHA) and Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine. At MHA, Nathaniel leads policy research and advocacy centered around addressing social and economic determinants of behavioral health, prevention and population-health strategies, and impacts of consumer technologies. Nathaniel's research has focused on aligning incentives to finance effective prevention and intervention in behavioral health, including publications in journals such as JAMA Pediatrics, Lancet Psychiatry, and the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.
Areas of Interest: Designing markets for long-term health, community wealth building and health equity, value-based payment and community health promotion
Working with the NY Fed: conducting research on regulatory options for establishing quasi-markets that advance community-level long-term healthy development.
Tenure: January 31, 2023
Related Publications: Short-term and Long-term Returns for States Implementing Pediatric Alternative Payment Model
Penelope Douglas: Founding Partner of CultureBank
See video of Penelope Douglas to learn more about her focus in arts, culture and community development
Penelope Douglas is a founding partner of CultureBank. She has spent the past twenty-five years as a social entrepreneur, pioneer in community development investment, cofounder and CEO of Pacific Community Ventures, and senior executive and board chair of MissionHub and SOCAP.
Areas of Interest:
arts & culture, impact investing and equitable growth
Tenure: December 2020
Jody Hoff: Economic Education Expert
Jody Hoff is an accomplished educational leader specializing in program development and evaluation, with an emphasis on learning opportunities that engage the imagination and curiosity of students. Jody's research focuses on understanding the impacts of educational interventions on the knowledge and attitudes of students and teachers, including publications in The American Economist, Contemporary Economic Policy, and the Journal of Economic Education. Jody recently joined Boise State University's Institute for Inclusive and Transformational Scholarship, working with undergraduate researchers and faculty mentors. She previously served in leadership roles as the Officer and Director and of Economic Education at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco, Executive Director of the Idaho Council on Economic Education, and began her career as a high school economics and math teacher. Jody holds a B.S. in Economics from the University of Idaho, a Master in Business Administration from Boise State University, and a Ph.D. in Research Psychology from Walden University.
Areas of Interest: Understanding barriers that limit student engagement and achievement, improving educational experiences through student-centered design, exploring teacher attitudes and beliefs about teaching
Working with the NY Fed: Conduct qualitative research with staff and education stakeholders to inform department strategies, improve program offerings, and increase participation by under-served groups.
Tenure: December 31, 2022
Related Publications: Game-based learning; Teacher training effects; Alternative assessments; Teaching and learning disconnects
Michael Loftin: CEO of Homewise, Inc.
Mike Loftin has served as the CEO of Homewise, Inc., since 1992. He leads a staff of 100 mission-driven, talented professionals with expertise from diverse fields that include financial coaching and education, mortgage lending and loan servicing, real estate sales, real estate development, community and economic development, marketing, fundraising, financial management, and policy advancement.
Areas of Interest: household finance management, mortgage lending and loan servicing, community development
Working with the NY Fed: Work to shift the current thinking from seeing homeownership as a nice outcome that naturally occurs in healthy communities to an understanding that smart homeownership promotion is an important means to improving the wellbeing of low-income families and disinvested neighborhoods.
Tenure: December 2021
Related Publications: An Economy That Works for All: Fostering Low-Income Homeownership; Strengthening Households and Neighborhoods by Supportng a Healthy Housing Spectrum
Miguel A. Soto-Class
Miguel A. Soto-Class: President & Founder
Miguel A. Soto-Class founded the Center for a New Economy (CNE) in 1998, and since then has steered CNE into becoming one of the most credible and influential voices in Puerto Rico. Beginning in 2014, CNE has been recognized yearly as one of the Top Think-Tanks to Watch by the Global Think Tank Report of the University of Pennsylvania.
With offices in San Juan, Washington, D.C. and Madrid, CNE is Puerto Rico's first think tank, and has evolved into a powerful nonpartisan advocate on behalf of the island in policy circles as well as an important participant of diaspora and Latino groups in the U.S. mainland.
CNE''s policy papers are regularly sought-out by officials in the U.S. Congress, the U.S. Treasury, the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, and the White House, intent on receiving balanced expertise and policy counsel on Puerto Rico and finding bipartisan options to the challenges faced by the island. CNE''s reports and analyses are also regularly covered by media from the United States, Europe, Asia, and Latin America, and are cited by numerous academic and policy publications.
Mike was an editor of The Economy of Puerto Rico: Restoring Growth, which was published by the Brookings Institution in 2006 and selected that same year as a Notable Book by the American Library Association. He has been a columnist for El Nuevo Día, Puerto Rico''s largest circulation daily, since 2003, and was the host of a weekly news radio program on economics at Radio Universidad in the University of Puerto Rico for several years.
Mike served as an Advisory Board member of the Community Innovator's Lab at MIT in Cambridge, Massachusetts; as a Board member of Endeavor Puerto Rico, a non-profit with an international reach committed to supporting high-impact entrepreneurs; as a Trustee of the University Press of the University of Puerto Rico; as the Founding Chairman of Espacios Abiertos, an organization dedicated to growing civic capacity and promoting transparency in Puerto Rico; a member of the YouthSave Advisory Board at the New America Foundation in Washington, D.C.; and as Co-Chair of ReImagina, the Advisory Commission for a Resilient Puerto Rico. In 2008, he was selected as an Aspen Institute Ideas Fellow.
He currently serves as Yale Alumni Schools Director for Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands, and as the Puerto Rico Delegate to the Yale Alumni Association, as well as a member of the Board of Directors of the Baldwin School of Puerto Rico, and an Emeritus Member of the Advisory Council for the Conservation Trust of Puerto Rico.
Mike has a B.A. from Yale University and a Juris Doctor from Vanderbilt University
Areas of Interest: Economic development, energy policy, disaster recovery, fiscal policy, and social policy
Working with the NY Fed: To partner with the Community Development team to jointly execute a series of eents focused on investments in Puerto Rico. He will advise the climate and health teams on future outreach and research opportunities in Puerto Rico.
Tenure: Through April 2023
Related Publications: The Economy of Puerto Rico: Restoring Growth;
Economía Ciudadana Podcasts
David Dante Troutt: Distinguished Professor of Law & Founding Director, Center on Law in Metropolitan Equity, Rutgers University
David Dante Troutt is Distinguished Professor of Law and Justice John J. Francis Scholar. David Troutt is the founding director of the Rutgers Center on Law in Metropolitan Equity (CLiME). He teaches and writes in four areas of primary interest: the metropolitan dimensions of race, class and legal structure; intellectual property; Torts; and critical legal theory. His major publications (noted below) include books of fiction and non-fiction, scholarly articles and a variety of legal and political commentary on race, law and equality.
Areas of Interest:
economic inequality, law and equality, racial equity, and equitable economic development
Tenure: June 2021
Related Publications: From Equitable Growth to Equitable Recovery (June 8, 2020)