Team

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Chris Hoene, Executive Director

Chris Hoene became the Budget Center’s executive director in October 2012, bringing to the organization 15 years of leadership in state and local policy research and analysis. He leads the strategic direction of the organization, acts as primary spokesperson, and works with the board of directors and community partners to implement our vision and mission. Prior to joining the Budget Center, Chris was director of the Center for Research and Innovation at the National League of Cities in Washington, DC, leading efforts to analyze trends in local and state government and promote constructive policy action on issues including public finance, economic development, housing, poverty reduction, infrastructure, and governance.  Chris also previously worked for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, DC, and the Public Policy Institute of California in San Francisco. Chris holds a Ph.D. in Political Science from Claremont Graduate University and a bachelor’s degree in Political Science of the College of Idaho. In 2011, in recognition of his service to the state and local community, Chris was elected as a Fellow into the National Academy of Public Administration (NAPA).

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Alissa Anderson, Senior Policy Analyst

Alissa Anderson initially joined the Budget Center in 2005 and served the organization for nearly eight years analyzing trends in California’s labor market. After a year hiatus, Alissa rejoined the organization in 2014, focusing on state strategies for reducing poverty. Prior to joining the Budget Center, Alissa worked for several years as a researcher in the Education Policy Center at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC, and conducted research for various organizations including the Los Angeles Alliance for a New Economy. She holds a master’s degree in urban planning from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Bryn Mawr College.

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Steven Bliss, Director of Strategic Communications

Steven Bliss joined the Budget Center in 2011, bringing to the organization 20 years of experience in strategic communications, policy research, and advocacy. Prior to joining the Budget Center, he was executive director of Renew Lehigh Valley, which works to promote urban revitalization and regional equity in eastern Pennsylvania. He previously worked for several years as a San Francisco-based consultant specializing in policy research and analysis on housing, welfare, education, workforce development, public health, transportation, and regional economic development. He is a graduate of Northwestern University and holds a master’s degree in literature from the University of California, Santa Cruz.

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William Chen, Policy Analyst

William Chen joined the Budget Center as a policy analyst in October 2014, focusing on tax and revenue policy. Before coming to the Budget Center, he was a research associate in the federal fiscal policy division at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington, DC. His other prior experience includes working on best practices and innovation in sustainable development at the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, polling data management at Georgetown University, and China policy at the US Department of Commerce. Before moving to DC, William raised funds for affordable housing and community development at InterIm CDA, a community development corporation in Seattle’s International District. He holds a master’s degree in public policy from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree in fine arts from Amherst College.

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Scott Graves, Director of Research

Scott Graves joined the Budget Center in 2002 and has served as director of research since 2014. In this role, he oversees the Budget Center’s analytical work, conducts research and analysis related to health and human services, and is the organization’s lead analyst on the state budget process. Scott has covered a number of other policy areas at the Budget Center, including child care, preschool, corrections, and housing, with a focus on both the state and federal levels. Prior to joining the Budget Center, Scott worked as a researcher in Austin, Texas, for the Tomás Rivera Policy Institute, Consumers Union, and the Public Policy Clinic at the University of Texas at Austin. He also was a California executive fellow and worked as a reporter for newspapers in Arizona and California. Scott received a Ph.D. in political science from the University of Texas at Austin and a bachelor’s degree in government and journalism from California State University, Sacramento.

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Jonathan Kaplan, Senior Policy Analyst

Jonathan Kaplan joined the Budget Center in 2006. He analyzes education policy with a focus on K-12 and higher education. Prior to joining the Budget Center, Jonathan taught law and United States history for seven years in Martinez, California, where he also served as chair of Alhambra High School’s social science department. He holds a master’s degree in education from the University of California, Santa Cruz, and received his bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University.

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Luke Reidenbach, Policy Analyst

Luke Reidenbach joined the Budget Center as a policy analyst in 2013. He focuses primarily on economic policy issues, including income, poverty, and employment. Prior to joining the Budget Center, he was a research assistant at the Center on Wage and Employment Dynamics, a program of the University of California, Berkeley’s Institute for Research on Labor and Employment. His previous work experience also includes policy research positions with the Center for American Progress in Washington, DC, and Obama for America in Chicago, Illinois. He holds a master’s degree in public policy from the University of California, Berkeley, and received his bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

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Kristin Schumacher, Policy Analyst

Kristin Schumacher joined Budget Center as a policy analyst in 2013. Prior to joining the Budget Center, she taught public policy and public administration courses in the School of Public Affairs at the University of Colorado Denver and held research positions with the University and the Feminist Majority Foundation. She also worked in fundraising and development with the Colorado AIDS Project in Denver. She received a Ph.D. in public affairs from the University of Colorado Denver and a master’s degree in social work with an emphasis in policy and administration from the University of Texas, Austin.

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Janice Selby, Director of Operations

Janice Selby has been the Budget Center’s director of operations since 2014 and has been with the organization since 2008. As director of operations, she is responsible for managing the Budget Center’s day-to-day administrative operations. Additionally, she oversees layout, production, and distribution of publications and logistical arrangements for events and meetings. Janice received her bachelor’s degree in communications from San Jose State University.

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Selena Teji, Policy Analyst

Selena Teji joined the Budget Center as a policy analyst in 2014. She focuses primarily on criminal and juvenile justice policy and funding, to promote safer communities, better outcomes for people who come into contact with the justice system, and smarter choices about the allocation of corrections dollars. Prior to joining the Budget Center, Selena was a communications and policy analyst with the Center on Juvenile and Criminal Justice in San Francisco. Selena holds a law degree from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, and received her bachelor’s degree in English and American literature from the University of Manchester in England.