Force for Good

Author: Kathryn Desai

On the Hill

LEO Federal Relations Director, Jill Pentimonti joined representatives from our partners at the Goodwill Excel Center in D.C. for the very first Goodwill Excel Center Advocacy Day. Jill spoke on a panel led by Goodwill Excel’s Chief Mission and Education Officer Betsy Delgado and shared the findings of the research our partnership produced. The goal? Help members of Congress understand the evidence of impact.

Michael L. Smith Managing Director Heather Reynolds testified to the Ways and Means House Subcommittee on Work and Welfare at a hearing titled “Welfare is Broken: Restoring Work Requirements to Lift Americans Out of Poverty.” The hearing focused on the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program, including discussion about the program’s effectiveness in lifting families out of poverty. By using examples from LEO research studies and addressing the gap between policy and what is actually happening on the ground, Heather called attention to the need for making policy decisions based on evidence.

New faculty member joining LEO this summer

We’re delighted to announce that Chris Mills (Princeton) will be joining the department as an assistant professor, starting later this summer.

Chris is coming from Princeton University where he has been affiliated with the Center for Health and Wellbeing, the Griswold Center for Economic Policy Studies, and the Industrial Relations Section. Chris is doing path breaking work on child welfare—an important area of focus for LEO. His research has shown that algorithmic tools can be used to help protect children in unsafe living situations.

“I’m thrilled to join LEO because of the rare opportunity to come alongside implementing partners in generating evidence for impact. Bill, Jim, and Heather have built up a team that is greater than the sum of its parts, and a truly exceptional environment to mentor and equip talented Notre Dame students. We especially hope to apply LEO’s know-how to supporting children and families during a period of rapid legislative change. I can’t wait to join the LEO family and empower communities in the fight against poverty!” - Chris Mills

Presentations, publications, and podcasts

Michael L. Smith Managing Director, Heather Reynolds, took part in a webinar about using for-profit marketing strategies in the non-profit world. Laura Meyer, who is an expert in marketing and the founder of JoyBrand Creative, led the live discussion. Also taking part was Dave Keil, another friend of LEO and founder of Franchise for Good—the nonprofit division of Franworth, which focuses on guiding nonprofits growth efforts using proven practices.

Attendees had the opportunity to hear about how and why this unique partnership came to be, including how JoyBrand worked with LEO partner Corner to Corner, to nearly double their recruitment numbers.

Jim Sullivan featured in the Journal of Political Economy

LEO co-founder Jim Sullivan co-authored the lead article in the February issue of the Journal of Political Economy. The Journal of Political Economy is a highly selective and prestigious journal of economic theory and practices. Jim’s paper on “Consumption and Income Inequality in the United States since the 1960s” revisits recent research on consumption inequality and income inequality to better understand these topics and how data on these topics has shifted over the past five decades.

LEO featured on the Ronald Reagan Institute Podcast

Jim was interviewed by the Ronald Reagan Institute Podcast. The interview was a productive conversation with Jim getting to speak extensively about LEO’s work including efforts in child welfare, using evidence with our Goodwill Excel Center partners, and continuing to build evidence on homelessness prevention.

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