EPIC brings together the most respected people and organizations in Policy, Research, and FinTech

Our Experts

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Erin Currier | Pew Charitable Trusts

“We need to understand the most pronounced drivers of income volatility, how those drivers differ across the income distribution and by demographic groups, and what their short- and long-term repercussions are to family financial health and economic mobility.”

Advisory Groups

● About Our Advisors

Each EPIC issue has a unique Advisory Group. The Advisory Group plays an integral role in the EPIC process, providing overall strategic guidance and feedback. Members are carefully selected for their expertise in the field and their diversity of thought. Their input and participation helps ensure that we have a level of dialogue and knowledge synthesis that is thorough and goes beyond usual sound bites.

● Debt Advisors

🔗 FULL PROFILE

Marla is CEO and Founder of FS Card Inc., and she is also a Partner at Fenway Summer LLC. Prior to FS Card Marla served as Assistant Director of Card and Payment Markets at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Marla previously spent seven years in a variety of functions at Capital One. Marla graduated from Stanford University Graduate School of Business with an MBA, and also earned a BS degree in Economics from University of Pennsylvania, Wharton.

🔗 FULL PROFILE

Ray Boshara is senior adviser and director of the Center for Household Financial Stability at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis. The center conducts research on family balance sheets and how they matter for strengthening families and the economy. Boshara is also a senior fellow in the Financial Security Program at the Aspen Institute, where his work focuses on the future of building wealth. Before joining the Fed in 2011, Boshara was vice president of New America, a think tank in Washington, D.C., where he launched and directed several domestic and international policy programs. He has also worked at CFED, a UN agency in Rome, the U.S. Congress, and Ernst & Young. Over the past 25 years, he has advised presidential candidates as well as the George W. Bush, Clinton and Obama administrations.

🔗 FULL PROFILE

Anmol is a social scientist specializing in economic, racial, and urban inequality. He conducts research and policy development on the financial conditions of low-income communities. Anmol earned a Ph.D. in Sociology and Social Policy at Harvard University and holds a B.A. from the University of California, Berkeley.

🔗 FULL PROFILE

William R. Emmons is the lead economist with the Center for Household Financial Stability at the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, where he also serves as assistant vice president. His areas of focus at the Center include household balance sheets and their relationship to the broader economy. He also speaks and writes frequently on banking, financial markets, financial regulation, housing, the economy and other topics.

🔗 FULL PROFILE

Tom Feltner is Center for Responsible Lending’s director of research, based in the Durham, North Carolina office. Feltner leads the organization’s applied research program and connects research findings with CRL’s state and federal policy agenda. He is currently conducting research on payday lending, student lending, and debt buyer practices. Before joining CRL in January 2017, Feltner was director of financial services at Consumer Federation of America, a Washington, DC based research and policy organization. At CFA, Feltner conducted research on payday lending, military financial protections and auto insurance pricing practices in low-wealth communities and communities of color. Previously, Feltner was Vice President of Woodstock Institute, a Chicago-based financial services reform organization where he led consumer credit research, advocacy and program evaluation.

🔗 FULL PROFILE

Megan Kiesel serves as Director of Client Engagement at Clarifi, where she drives the agency’s efforts to provide consumers with the tools they need to build healthy financial lives. In her role, she uses behaviorally-informed strategies to enhance service delivery and adapts operations to reach consumers through new partnership channels.

🔗 FULL PROFILE

Signe-Mary McKernan is a senior fellow and codirector of the Opportunity and Ownership initiative at the Urban Institute. She is a wealth-building and poverty expert with two decades of experience researching access to assets and credit and the impact of safety net programs. She coedited Asset Building and Low-Income Families, coauthored a chapter in the Oxford Handbook of the Economics of Poverty, and advised the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in setting up its research unit.

🔗 FULL PROFILE

Soneyet Muhammad serves as Director of Community Engagement at Clarifi, where she leads agency programs and strategic partnerships to address consumers’ holistic financial lives. In her role, she uses behaviorally-informed service delivery practices and adapts operations to reach consumers through new partnership channels.

🔗 FULL PROFILE

Prior to founding LendStreet, Jerry worked at Bank of America Merrill Lynch in its Global Corporate & Investing Banking division, helping major companies restructure their debt during the financial crisis and raise money from the high yield debt market. Jerry is now putting that expertise to use in a way that helps consumers in financial distress deal with their debt and rebuild their credit.

🔗 FULL PROFILE

Tim Ogden is the managing director of the Financial Access Initiative, a research center based at NYU-Wagner that focuses on how financial services can better meet the needs and improve the lives of poor households around the world, and of the US Financial Diaries project. Tim is also a co-founder of Sona Partners, a thought leadership communications firm, where he has helped develop more than 20 books on topics including leadership, strategy, marketing, and financial inclusion

🔗 FULL PROFILE

Sasha Orloff is the CEO and Co-founder of LendUp. LendUp builds technology to provide credit to those that banks and credit union decline. Their first product is a socially responsible alternative to payday loans called The LendUp Ladder. Orloff focused on expanding financial services to new segments or markets, and finding ways to harness new technology to improve lives.

🔗 FULL PROFILE

Caroline Ratcliffe is a senior fellow and codirector of the Opportunity and Ownership initiative at the Urban Institute. An expert on asset building and poverty, she has published and spoken extensively on poverty, emergency savings, alternative financial-sector products, and welfare programs and policies. Ratcliffe has evaluated programs aimed at moving low-income families into the financial mainstream and studied how welfare programs and policies affect families' economic well-being. Her research also examines persistent childhood poverty and how it relates to adult success.

🔗 FULL PROFILE

Ohad Samet is the co-founder and CEO of TrueAccord, a data driven debt recovery platform seeking to put a human face on debt collections by using machine learning and behavioral analytics. He was recently appointed to the CFPB's Consumer Advisory Board.

🔗 FULL PROFILE

Corey currently serves as Senior Advisor to the Financial Services Practice of Oliver Wyman, a global consulting firm.  Most recently he was part of the stand-up executive team at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau as Assistant Director for Deposits, Liquidity Lending, and Reporting Markets. His office recruited experts from various industries under the Bureau’s purview and led research, industry outreach, and policy development efforts related to credit reporting, debt collections, remittances, payday lending, and checking accounts.  He has testified before US Senate committees on consumer protection issues related to consumer reporting and debt collection.

🔗 FULL PROFILE

Dana Warren is Senior Director of Merchant Development for PayPal Credit at PayPal where she leads the distribution, marketing, and sales of consumer financing solutions for retailers in North America. Prior to joining PayPal in 2016, Dana spent eight years at American Express working in marketing and strategy.

● Income Volatility Advisors

🔗 FULL PROFILE

Marla is CEO and Founder of FS Card Inc., and she is also a Partner at Fenway Summer LLC. Prior to FS Card Marla served as Assistant Director of Card and Payment Markets at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Marla previously spent seven years in a variety of functions at Capital One. Marla graduated from Stanford University Graduate School of Business with an MBA, and also earned a BS degree in Economics from University of Pennsylvania, Wharton.

🔗 FULL PROFILE

J. Michael Collins is faculty director of the Center for Financial Security at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He is the Fetzer Family Chair in Consumer & Personal Finance in the School of Human Ecology, an Associate Professor at the La Follette School of Public Affairs, a family economics specialist for UW-Extension, Cooperative Extension, and an affiliate of the Institute for Research on Poverty and Center for Demography and Ecology.

🔗 FULL PROFILE

Maureen Conway serves as Vice President for Policy Programs at the Aspen Institute and as Executive Director of the Institute’s Economic Opportunities Program (EOP). Ms. Conway founded EOP’s Workforce Strategies Initiative (AspenWSI) and has headed up workforce research at the Aspen Institute since 1999.

🔗 FULL PROFILE

Fiona Greig is the Director of Consumer Research for the JPMorgan Chase Institute. Previously, Fiona served as the Deputy Budget Director for the City of Philadelphia from 2012 through 2014 and as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to that, Fiona was a consultant at McKinsey & Company for five years, consulting public and social sector clients on strategy, operations and economic development.

🔗 FULL PROFILE

Darrick Hamilton is the director of the doctoral program in public and urban policy, and jointly appointed as an associate professor of economics and urban policy at The Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy and the Department of Economics, The New School for Social Research at The New School in New York.

🔗 FULL PROFILE

Chuck Howard is a current PhD candidate in the Marketing and Behavioural Sciences Division of the Saunder School of Business at the University of British Columbia. Chuck has a Bachelor's degree in International Economics and Finance from Ryerson University. He joined the PhD program in 2014 and his research interests include the causes and consequences of prosocial and antisocial consumer behavior, tax policy, and issues pertaining to methodology and ethics.

🔗 FULL PROFILE

Elisabeth Jacobs is Senior Director, Research, and Senior Fellow at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. Her research focuses on economic inequality and mobility, family economic security, poverty, employment, social policy, social insurance, and the politics of inequality.

🔗 FULL PROFILE

Kevin Jordan is the senior vice president of national programs for Local Initiative Support Corporation, where he directs their family income and wealth building work. In his role, he helps LISC implement their comprehensive community redevelopment strategy,

🔗 FULL PROFILE

Jonathan Professor of Public Policy and Economics at the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and Executive Director of the Financial Access Initiative at New York University. His research focuses on finance and inequality.

🔗 FULL PROFILE

Tim Ogden (@philaction or @timothyogden) is managing director of the Financial Access Initiative at NYU and executive partner at Sona Partners, a thought leadership communications firm. He is co-author of Toyota Under Fire, and author of the forthcoming Experimental Conversations, a collection of interviews with economists conducting field experiments on poverty alleviation. He has developed and edited more than 20 books, including award-winning business books on innovation and marketing. In addition to blogging regularly for SSIR, he serves as editor-in-chief of Philanthropy Action and as a contributing editor for Alliance magazine.

🔗 FULL PROFILE

Caroline Ratcliffe is a senior fellow and codirector of the Opportunity and Ownership initiative at the Urban Institute. An expert on asset building and poverty, she has published and spoken extensively on poverty, emergency savings, alternative financial-sector products, and welfare programs and policies. Ratcliffe has evaluated programs aimed at moving low-income families into the financial mainstream and studied how welfare programs and policies affect families' economic well-being. Her research also examines persistent childhood poverty and how it relates to adult success.

🔗 FULL PROFILE

Rachel Schneider is the Senior Vice President, Insights and Analytics, for the Center for Financial Services Innovation (CFSI). In this position, Schneider serves as an industry expert on the underbanked marketplace, identifying new innovations, analyzing trends and managing ongoing consumer research. She coordinates relationships with academic and industry research partners and collaborates with financial services companies and others regarding strategy development and product design related to the underbanked market.

Participating Organizations

● About The Organizations

Here is a snapshot of the many organizations represented among our survey respondents, convening participants, and written content. Our collaborators and participants include world-class economists, think tank scholars, widely-published journalists, financial service providers, high-level government officials, and more.

● Government & Non-Profits

  • Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB)
  • U.S. Department of the Treasury
  • Center on Financial Services Innovation (CFSI)
  • The Federal Reserve
  • Economic Policy Institute
  • The Pew Charitable Trusts
  • U.S. Department of Labor
  • Washington Center for Equitable Growth
  • CFED
  • American Enterprise Institute
  • ProPublica

● Academics & Researchers

  • University of Wisconsin -Madison
  • The Milano School of International Affairs
  • University of British Columbia
  • NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service
  • Georgetown University
  • University of Kentucky
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • Yale University
  • New York University
  • University of California -Berkeley
  • University of Chicago
  • University of Washington

● Private Sector

  • Fenway Summer LLC
  • FS Card Inc.
  • JPMorgan Chase & Co. Institute
  • Even
  • Intuit
  • Honest Dollar
  • Putnam Investments
  • FlexWage
  • Morningstar, Inc.
  • Prudential
  • Activehours

EPIC
INCOME VOLATILITY|CONSUMER DEBT

Income volatility is not a discrete, boutique problem. It's a new normal for American households.

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