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Center on Poverty, Inequality, and Public Policy

Our Team

Please visit our new website to view our Economic Security & Opportunity Initiative team

Faculty Director

Professor Peter Edelman

Professor Peter Edelman

Peter Edelman is the Carmack Waterhouse Professor of Law and Public Policy at Georgetown University Law Center, where he teaches constitutional law and poverty law and is Faculty Director of the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality. On the faculty since 1982, he has also served in all three branches of government. During President Clinton's first term he was Counselor to HHS Secretary Donna Shalala and then Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation. 

Professor Edelman has been Associate Dean of the Law Center, Director of the New York State Division for Youth, and Vice President of the University of Massachusetts. He was a Legislative Assistant to Senator Robert F. Kennedy and Issues Director for Senator Edward Kennedy's 1980 Presidential campaign. Prior to working for RFK, he clerked for Supreme Court Justice Arthur J. Goldberg and before that for Judge Henry J. Friendly on the U.S. Court of Appeals. He also served as Special Assistant to U.S. Assistant Attorney General John Douglas, and was a partner in the law firm of Foley & Lardner. 

Mr. Edelman's newest book is So Rich, So Poor: Why It's So Hard to End Poverty in America, published by The New Press. A previous book, Searching for America's Heart: RFK and the Renewal of Hope, is available in paperback from the Georgetown University Press. His article in the Atlantic Monthly, entitled "The Worst Thing Bill Clinton Has Done," received the Harry Chapin Media Award. 

Professor Edelman has chaired and been a board member of numerous organizations and foundations. He is currently chair of the District of Columbia Access to Justice Commission and board chair of the National Center for Youth Law. 

Executive Director

Rebecca Epstein

Rebecca Epstein

Rebecca is the Executive Director of the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality. Previously, Rebecca served as a senior trial attorney in the Civil Rights Division of the U.S. Department of Justice. Rebecca also worked as a staff attorney at Public Justice, a public interest law firm in Washington D.C., and was Policy Counsel at the National Partnership on Women and Families through a fellowship awarded by the Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowship Program. In 2008, she helped lead the women's issues committee of the Obama campaign, with a particular focus on work/family issues. Rebecca clerked for the Honorable Raymond A. Jackson in the Eastern District of Virginia. 

Rebecca received her J.D. from New York University School of Law, where she was awarded a fellowship from the Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Program, and was awarded Best Brief and Best Oralist at the school-wide moot court competition. She received her B.A. in history with honors from Brown University.  

Senior Visiting Scholar

Gonzalez headshot

Thalia Gonzalez

Thalia González is a Senior Visiting Scholar in the Center on Poverty and Inequality and an Associate Professor of Law and Politics at Occidental College. She is an expert in the field of restorative justice and conflict transformation and her work on restorative practices, race and inequality, the school-to-prison pipeline, and public policy has been utilized by educators, policymakers, county safety councils, think tanks, and bar associations. As a scholar she seeks to engage contemporary questions at the intersection of law, society, inequality, and systemic reform in the areas of restorative justice, juvenile justice, human rights, and public interest law practice. Thalia has published articles, book chapters, policy reports, and issue briefs in a variety of publications including, New York University Review of Law and Social Change, Howard Law Journal, Cardozo Journal of Conflict Resolution, Fordham Urban Law Journal, Ecology Law Quarterly, and the Journal of Law and Education. She is a frequent expert speaker at conferences and commentator on legal issues and educational and juvenile justice policy. She earned a law degree from Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law where she worked for three years in the Bluhm Legal Clinic, Children and Family Justice Center, and was honored as an Public Interest Law Fellow. Thalia earned a B.A. in anthropology, summa cum laude, from Arizona State University. 


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