Jeffrey Liebman, the Robert W. Scrivner Professor of Public Policy, became the Rappaport Institute's director in July of 2014. Jeffrey 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. Liebman also directs the Harvard Kennedy School’s Social Impact Bond Technical Assistance Lab and the Taubman Center for State and Local Government. 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 PhD in economics from Harvard. He can be reached by email.
Kathryn Carlson is the executive director. She joins the Rappaport Institute from A Better City where she was director of transportation. In this role, she directed the transportation research and policy agendas for the organization as well as oversaw the two Transportation Management Associations (TMAs). Previously, her professional experiences encompass research and policy positions. She spent eight years as a research analyst and economist at Fidelity Investments in Boston covering energy and commodity markets. From 2003-2005, Kathryn served in the Administration of Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle as a senior-level appointee at the Department of Financial Institutions – the state banking and securities regulator. She managed all legislative, policy and communications functions of the department and provided leadership on a variety of initiatives, including predatory mortgage lending legislation and the development of a public-private partnership to encourage early-stage investing, the Wisconsin Angel Network. Kathryn founded Buca Boot LLC, a bicycle product company and invented their flagship product, the Buca Boot, a patented bike-mounted storage system that won Inc. Magazine’s “Best In Class” Design Award in 2015. She is a board member of the LivableStreets Alliance in Boston and holds both Bachelors of Arts and Masters of Science degrees in Economics from Wellesley College and the London School of Economics, respectively. She can be reached by email.
Polly O'Brien is the Institute’s associate director. She was the interim executive director for 2019. She has also served as the assistant director from 2005 - 2012 and previously was a program manager and administrative assistant at the Institute. Before joining the Institute in 2002, she was a project manager at Sky Dog Technologies, a website design firm in Arlington. She came to that job from the Consensus Building Institute, a conflict and dispute resolution firm in Cambridge where she was webmaster and editor of the organization's newsletter, CBI Reports, and where she assisted in training preparation and project management. O’Brien has also worked for the Boston Natural Areas Fund, where she was curator of an educational study on the history of the Neponset River and oversaw the creation of an exhibit on the Neponset River that traveled to local schools and historical societies. She received an MA in classics from Boston University. She can be reached at 617-495-5091 or by email.