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Taubman Administration

Jeffrey Liebman, Director

Jeffrey Liebman, the Robert W. Scrivner Professor of Public Policy, became the Taubman Center's director in July of 2014. Liebman teaches courses in public sector economics and American economic policy and focuses his research on tax and budget policy, social insurance, poverty, income inequality, and social innovation. Recent research has examined the impacts of government programs such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, Social Security, housing vouchers, SNAP, and Disability Insurance. Jeffrey also directs the Harvard Kennedy School’s Government Performance Lab and the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston. During the first two years of the Obama Administration, Liebman worked at OMB, first as Executive Associate Director and Chief Economist and then as Acting Deputy Director. From 1998 to 1999, Liebman served as Special Assistant to the President for economic policy and coordinated the Clinton Administration's Social Security reform technical working group. Liebman received his BA from Yale University and his MA and Ph.D. in economics from Harvard.


Rafael Carbonell, Executive Director

Rafael Carbonell became the Taubman Center Executive Director in August 2017, where he works to advance its mission to support public sector leaders in improving the governance of states, metropolitan areas, and cities. Rafael previously served as Deputy Director of the City of Boston’s Office of Business Development, where he implemented a new small business innovation initiative and led the development of the City’s first-ever small business strategic plan, which was unveiled by Mayor Marty Walsh in 2016. Prior to that, Rafael helped launch, and then as Executive Vice President ran Thrive, the first regional economic development enterprise for the eight-county Madison, Wisconsin region. Rafael also previously served as Director of Regional Economic Development for the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, and as Director of Marketing & Business Development for Livra.com, a technology startup he helped launch in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which is now one of Latin America’s largest online market research platforms. Rafael holds a B.S. in Marketing from Boston College, was a Ford Foundation “Regional Sustainable Development Fellow,” and is fluent in Spanish.


Juanne Zhao is the Financial Associate for the Taubman Center for State and Local Government and is a member of the Harvard Kennedy School's Diversity Committee (DivCo). Previously, Juanne served as a Faculty Assistant and the Program Coordinator for the Democratic Governance Program at the Ash Center. Juanne started her career in the technology industry in Dalian, China where she was the liaison in China for Sunbridge Corporation, a venture capital firm which is Japan’s leading incubator for emerging IT businesses. She assisted Sunbridge with business development by helping identify Chinese information technology companies for potential investment. Juanne holds a master’s degree in management from Harvard University Extension School, and a bachelor’s degree in American and European literature and culture Studies from Teikyo University in Tokyo, Japan. She is a native Chinese speaker and is fluent in both English and Japanese.