We are thrilled to be collaborating with over 40+ mentors within academia, government institutions, and the industry space around the globe. Just a few of these amazing individuals, who will be acting as mentors, speakers, and judges over the course of the hackathon weekend, are listed below.
Signe-Mary McKernan is vice president for labor, human services, and population and co-director of the Opportunity and Ownership initiative at the Urban Institute. McKernan has extensive experience leading large projects and using rigorous econometric methods, randomized controlled trials, and administrative and survey data to evaluate programs and policies. She is a wealth-building and poverty expert with extensive experience in researching access to assets and credit and the impact of safety net programs. She coedited Asset Building and Low-Income Families and advised the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in setting up its research unit. McKernan’s consumer finance research includes debt, financial products and services, the impact of the Great Recession, racial wealth disparities, individual development accounts, homeownership, and the alternative financial sector. Her poverty-related work evaluates the effectiveness of social programs in improving poverty, self-sufficiency, and material hardship. Her previous positions include being the lead economist on credit issues at the Federal Trade Commission and a visiting and adjunct professor at Georgetown University. She has a PhD in economics from Brown University.
Marcelo Clerici- Arias, is a Lecturer and Director of the Honors Program for Economics and Public Policy. He also teaches the Junior Honors Seminar for both degree programs, and the Principles of Economics course. Prior to his current position, Marcelo was the Associate Director of Stanford’s Center for Teaching and Learning for 12 years, the Associate Director of Stanford’s Introductory Economics Center for four years. Marcelo’s research originally focused on game theory and computational economics, with a particular emphasis on agents exhibiting bounded rationality. Now Marcelo’s research focuses more on the teaching and learning of economics.
Nagaraja Rao Harshadeep
Harshadeep is a Global Lead for Disruptive Technology in the Environment, Natural Resources & Blue Economy Global Practice at the World Bank in Washington DC. In the past 24 years at the Bank, he has worked on and led a number of investment operations and strategic analytic and advisory activities related to environment, natural resources, water resources, climate, etc. He leads a Disruptive KIDS (Knowledge, Information & Data Services) Helpdesk and supports the development of a range of data and analytics applications. Harshadeep is also helping support a range of COVID-19 related work, including research, facilitation for remote supervision, and spatial surveys for global stimulus operations. He holds a Bachelor of Technology in Civil Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT-Madras), Masters in Environmental and Resource Engineering from Syracuse, and a Ph.D. in Water Resources and Environmental Systems Engineering from Harvard University.
Professor Cao is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Management at Stony Brook University. Her research sits at the intersection of decision-making, social network, and culture. Her research aims to answer three questions: 1) Globalization has brought people to a more mobile and diverse life. How does this change impact people’s cognition, behaviors and beliefs? 2) How do people mentally construct their social worlds—i.e., their social networks—according to various psychological and situational factors (e.g. gender, status, foreign environment) and how does that contribute to inequality? 3) What are the socio-ecological mechanisms that underlie cross-cultural differences in trust, reciprocity and social perception? Professor Cao’s work has appeared in leading academic journals such as Social Psychology and Personality Science and Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes. Her paper on travel and trust has won the Annual Student Publication Award from the Society of Personality and Social Psychology. Professor Cao received her Ph.D. from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.
Kim Dadisman is a Policy and Research Manager for J-PAL North America, and her work is focused on the intersection of research and policy. In this role she examines the effectiveness of the technical assistance provided via the innovation initiatives: state and local government, health care delivery, and education technology. She also provides capacity building around data and evaluation. Prior to joining J-PAL North America, Kim worked in Indonesia as the Research and Analytics lead on a governance program, where she led all monitoring, evaluation, and research activities. Kim has also worked designing, directing, and managing research and evaluations on social policies and programs that impact children and families at the University of Chicago and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Kim holds a PhD in Educational Psychology from the University of Wisconsin—Madison.
Robert is a Professor in Applied Social Psychology and Behavioral Science at the University of Copenhagen and a founding member of the Copenhagen Personality and Social Psychology (CoPSY) research group. He is a member of the steering committees of the Copenhagen Center for Social Data Science (SODAS) as well as of the International Conference on Social Dilemmas (ICSD), and an associated member of the Center for Empirical Research in Economics and Behavioral Sciences (CEREB), University of Erfurt, Germany. He conducts research on health behavior and public health, in particular vaccination behavior and, most recently, behaviors related to the COVID-19 outbreak. He is currently heading the COVID-19 Snapshot Monitoring (COSMO) in Denmark, a research initiative coordinated by WHO/Europe, and has been a consultant for several national and international health organisations on government bodies in health-related issues. Robert holds a PhD in (Social/Economic) Psychology from the University of Jena, Germany and studied Psychology and Intercultural Communication at the Chemnitz University of Technology, Germany.
ELBA is a lawyer and ecologist, specialized in visual arts, cultural management & cultural patrimony. She currently works at the IDB Knowledge, Innovation & Communication Sector. She previously was part of the IDB Cultural Center providing technical advice to over 650 cultural & artistic institutions in LAC, implementing more than 90 exhibitions and managing the corporate Art Collection. ELBA has a Master's Degree in Humanities from Georgetown University, an Environmental Conservation Degree from the Geography Department of the University of Colorado at Boulder and a J.D.Equivalent from the Pontifical Catholic University of Peru.
Ellen is a Research & Operations Manager at NeuroFlow, a company that promotes behavioral health access and engagement in all care settings to improve outcomes, overall wellness, and cost of care. Prior to joining NeuroFlow, Ellen was a researcher in higher education and later at the Leonard Davis Institute of Health Economics. She is particularly interested in policies focused around access to care and mental health care, especially during the time of COVID when telehealth policies are being updated. She is an expert in small business funding from the government and is interested in policies concerning access to resources for small businesses. Ellen holds a Master’s degree in Statistics, Measurement, Assessment and Research Technology from the University of Pennsylvania.
Dr. Wittenberg is a Senior Research Scientist in the Center for Health Decision Science at the Harvard School of Public Health. She studies methods for measuring patient-relevant outcomes, including quality of life, preferences, and economic utilities, and the integration of these measures into decision analysis. Her work also encompasses the psychology of decision making, and the influence of psychology on the perception and articulation of outcomes. She has a particular focus on women’s health, including homeless women, caregivers, and women with cancer. Dr. Wittenberg’s research has been funded by the National Institutes of Health, the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), and the PhRMA Foundation. She serves on the editorial boards of Medical Decision Making and The Patient—Patient-Centered Outcomes Research. She is a standing member of the Health Economics and Outcomes Research study section for AHRQ, and has served as a grant reviewer for CDC and private foundations. Dr. Wittenberg holds an MPP from the Harvard Kennedy School of Government and a PhD in Health Policy from Harvard University.
Dr. Jackson Lu
Dr. Jackson Lu is the Mitsui Career Development Assistant Professor at the MIT Sloan School of Management. His research focuses on culture and globalization and has been published in premier scientific journals. In 2019, he was named one of the World’s 40 Best Business School Professors Under 40 by Poets and Quants. Dr. Jackson Lu received his Ph.D. in Management (Organizational Behavior) from Columbia Business School.
Jill co-founded the nonprofit LibertyHomes in 2019 to help utilities decrease electricity demand following coal plant closures by scaling whole home energy efficiency upgrades using Pay As You Save® (PAYS®), an on-bill tariffed based system for equitable clean energy financing that is agnostic of credit score, renter status, rurality, or income. Jill's policy work focuses on rural economic development and just transitions of local workforce. She works closely with the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association and USDA to craft and introduce policy proposals to Schumer staff on the Hill. Prior to co-founding LibertyHomes, Jill was a Truman Fellow at the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy where she lead the Rural Research Initiative. She has worked at the US Department of Energy, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy as a solar technology fellow and as a photovoltaic cell researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Jill holds a bachelor of science in material science engineering from the University of Virginia.
Alex Nowrasteh is the director of immigration studies at the Cato Institute’s Center for Global Liberty and Prosperity. His popular publications have appeared in the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Washington Post, and most other major publications in the United States. His peer‐reviewed academic publications have appeared in The World Bank Economic Review, the Journal of Economic Behavior and Organization, Economic Affairs, the Fletcher Security Review, the Journal of Bioeconomics, and Public Choice. Alex regularly appears on Fox News, MSNBC, Bloomberg, NPR, and numerous television and radio stations across the United States. He is a coauthor of the booklet Open Immigration: Yea and Nay (Encounter Broadsides, 2014). He also contributed a chapter to libertarianism.org’s Visions of Liberty. Alex received his BA in economics from George Mason University and his Master of Science in economic history from the London School of Economics.
Laura is a current Principal Economist on the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, working in the Household and Business Spending Section within the Research and Statistic Division. Laura’s section is responsible for analysis, forecasting, and research regarding U.S. household and business spending. The aim of her role is to help monetary policymakers make the best policy decisions possible, given a state-of-the-art knowledge of economic theory and empirics. Laura has extensive experience regarding intensive application of available data to questions of relevance to monetary policymakers, disciplined by well-founded economic models. Her current research topics include “Household spending, Inequality” and “Consumer behavior.” She received her Ph.D. in Public Finance and Macroeconomics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and B.S in Mathematics and Physics from Yale University.
Andrew is a Research Associate Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL). His work focuses primarily on the organization's global education measurement project, where he seeks to improve the comparability of achievement tests administered by development economics researchers. Prior to joining J-PAL in 2019, Andrew worked at Mais Caminhos, an NGO in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil as the leader of an English program; and MDRC, a nonprofit, nonpartisan education and social policy research organization as a Technical Researcher. He also has professional experience working as a teacher and in economic consulting on high-profile merger and litigation cases. In addition to his policy interests, Andrew has several years of experience programming data in R, Stata, and SAS using experimental and quasi-experimental methods.
Alain Pineda is currently pursuing a PhD in economics at Stanford School of Humanities and Sciences. Having a background in applied economics, he worked as an economist in the Real Sector Research Division and teaching assistant of course Applied macroeconomics. He earned the Baillères Scholarship, and won first place in the mathematics and physics category at the CUAM-ACMor research conference. In addition to his experiences, he is versed in using data analyzing tools like Stata and MATLAB.
Fredric is currently a Master’s student in Data, Economics, and Development Policy at the MIT Department of Economics and has two research assistant roles with Professors Esther Duflo and David Autor. His current research interests are in development economics, trade, and labour economics. He is also interested in immunology and has conducted research at the Shanghai Jiao Tong University of Medicine and spent a summer at the Ragon Institute of Harvard, MIT, and MGH.