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Meet Our Experts

TDC brings together several top national experts from nonprofits and academic institutions to work towards enhancing the data capacity of TANF agencies.

Richard Hendra
Richard Hendra
MDRC/CDI

Hendra, Ph.D., directs the Center for Data Insights at MDRC which is bringing state of the art data science methods to help harness data to improve programs and better serve populations in need. An expert in experimental design, data science, and workforce policy, he leads several national evaluations across numerous policy areas focused on low income populations. During his tenure at MDRC, Hendra has led the research on a range of welfare, housing, asset building, and workforce development projects. Hendra is also the Principle Investigator or Senior Adviser on several evaluations focused on employment, housing, criminal justice, financial inclusion, and substance abuse issues. Hendra has over two decades of experience teaching statistics and research methods at the graduate level and has been involved in national preparedness training initiatives. He has served on several expert, curriculum, and dissertation committees and has been a reviewer for several foundations and academic journals.

Dennis Culhane
Dennis Culhane
AISP

Culhane, Ph.D., is the Dana and Andrew Stone Professor of Social Policy at the School of Social Policy and Practice at The University of Pennsylvania, a Senior Research Associate at the Center for Population Studies, and served as the Director of Research for the National Center on Homelessness among Veterans at the United States Department of Veterans Affairs from 2009 - 2018. Culhane was also named Faculty co-Director for the Cartographic Modeling Lab (CML) after his involvement in the Early Warning Information System (EWIS) for New York City in 1996. Culhane is a nationally recognized social science researcher with primary expertise in the field of homelessness. His homelessness work has positioned him as an early innovator in the use of administrative data for research and policy analysis, particularly for populations and program impacts which are difficult to assess and track. Culhane’s work has resulted in federal legislation requiring all cities and states to develop administrative data systems for tracking homeless services in order to receive HUD funding. Culhane’s recent research includes studies of vulnerable youth and young adults, including those transitioning from foster care, juvenile justice, and residential treatment services.

Robert M. Goerge
Robert M. Goerge
Chapin Hall

Goerge, Ph.D., is a Chapin Hall Senior Research Fellow with more than 25 years’ experience in research focused on improving the available data and information on children and families, particularly those who require specialized services related to maltreatment, disability, poverty, or violence. Goerge leads Chapin Hall’s Integrated Database on Child and Family Programs in Illinois, which links the administrative data on social service receipt, education, criminal and juvenile justice, employment, healthcare, and early childhood programs to provide a comprehensive picture of child and family use of publicly provided or publicly financed service programs. His work provides high-quality information to policymakers to improve the programs serving children and their families. At Chapin Hall, he is Principal Investigator (PI) for the Family Self-Sufficiency Data Center, funded by U.S. Department of Health and Human Services; PI of the Linking Federal Data to Local Data project, which is a collaboration with the U.S. Census Bureau; and PI of the National Survey for Early Care and Education. He is also cochair and cofounder of the International Society for Child Indicators.

Julia Lane
Julia Lane
The Coleridge Initiative

Lane, Ph.D., is a Professor at the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, at the NYU Center for Urban Science and Progress, and a NYU Provostial Fellow for Innovation Analytics. She cofounded the Coleridge Initiative, whose goal is to use data to transform the way governments access and use data for the social good through training programs, research projects and a secure data facility. The approach is attracting national attention, including the Commission on Evidence Based Policy and the Federal Data Strategy. Previous to this, Julia was a Senior Managing Economist and Institute Fellow at American Institutes for Research. Julia has held positions at the National Science Foundation, The Urban Institute, The World Bank, American University and NORC at the University at Chicago. In these positions, Julia has led many initiatives, including co-founding the Institute for Research and Innovation in Science (IRIS) at the University of Michigan and STAR METRICS programs at the National Science Foundation. She also initiated and led the creation and permanent establishment of the Longitudinal Employer-Household Dynamics Program at the U.S. Census Bureau.