Center on Poverty, Inequality, and Public Policy

Our 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.  

Director, Project on Deep Poverty and Senior Fellow

Indi Dutta-Gupta Headshot

Indivar Dutta-Gupta

Indivar Dutta-Gupta is Director of the Project on Deep Poverty and Senior Fellow at the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality. Previously, Indivar was Project Director at Freedman Consulting, LLC, leading strategic initiatives for major philanthropies, children’s groups, and workers’ organizations.

Indivar served as Senior Policy Advisor at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, focusing on budget and tax policies and cross-cutting low-income issues. Earlier, he focused on safety net, tax, and social insurance programs and policies as U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee Professional Staff.

As an Emerson National Hunger Fellow, Indivar worked for DC Hunger Solutions and the Center for American Progress. Indivar is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, and has been named a First Focus Campaign for Children Champion for Children, as well as one of Washington Life magazine’s most Influential 40-And-Under Leaders (2013) and Rising Stars 40 And Under (2016). Indivar is an honors graduate of the University of Chicago and a Harry S. Truman Scholar.

Senior Fellow, Project on Deep Poverty

Nina Dastur

Nina Dastur

Nina Dastur is a Senior Fellow at the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality. Previously, she served as the Director of Policy and Advocacy for Union Settlement Association in East Harlem, where her work focused on issues affecting low income people across the life span, including early childhood education, adult education and workforce development, and healthy aging, as well as on strategies to promote civic engagement in social services organizations. Before joining Union Settlement, she spent nine years at the Center for Community Change (CCC) as a Fellow and Senior Policy Analyst. As an Equal Justice Works Fellow at CCC, she created and staffed the Catalyst Project, which provided public education, civic engagement training, leadership development, and technical policy support to grassroots organizing groups to promote equitable development in the District of Columbia. More recently, as a member of the Center's policy staff she provided technical assistance to grassroots organizing groups on campaigns focused on the economy, job creation and job quality, and affordable housing. Prior to CCC, she helped to create and run a poverty policy clinic at Georgetown University Law Center, where she supervised second- and third-year law students engaged in local advocacy. She started her career as a legal services lawyer, first at Community Legal Services in Philadelphia, where she represented parents involved in the child welfare system and worked on policy issues relating to the intersection of welfare and child welfare, and subsequently at the Legal Aid Society of the District of Columbia, where she represented low income residents in housing, public benefits, and family law matters, and directed the organization's law reform work. She graduated with honors from Duke University and Harvard Law School.

Policy Associate, Project on Deep Poverty

Kali Grant

Kali Grant

Kali Grant is the Policy Associate for the Project on Deep Poverty. At the Georgetown Center, she helps lead research, writing, and communication activities, including conceptualizing commissioned quantitative analyses and policy proposals; private and public convenings; and directly researching and developing policy proposals that address shortcomings of key public benefit programs, as well as ideas related to labor standards, creating job opportunities, and leveraging health reform and health systems change to ameliorate deep poverty. She has co-authored several reports and articles on aspects of poverty and inequality in America. Previously, Kali was an AmeriCorps VISTA at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law in Chicago, IL, where she focused on economic justice and asset-building policies that support low-income families and individuals.

Kali graduated with Research Distinction from the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University, and is an MPP candidate at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown (Class of 2019). At Ohio State, Kali was the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Ohio State chapter of Her Campus, a national online newsmagazine for college women. She also served as a research assistant at the Glenn College, where she identified food innovation trends among private U.K. retailers with a long-term focus on policy implications for corporate social responsibility, childhood obesity, and consumer behavior and choice. As an intern for the Institute on Women, Kali provided research on the socioeconomic status of women and girls in Ohio, and helped produce an evaluative report on the E3 program, an intensive financial literacy and career skills educational program for low- to moderate-income women in central Ohio with multiple barriers to employment and self-sufficiency.

Policy Analyst, Project on Deep Poverty

Casey Goldvale picture

Casey Goldvale

Casey Goldvale is the Policy Analyst for the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality’s Project on Deep Poverty. In her role at the center, she specializes in data analysis and policy development. 

Prior to the center, Casey served as an intern at the White House National Economic Council, where she focused on the tax policy, budget, and cross-cutting initiatives addressing socioeconomic mobility and financial inclusion. Earlier, she spent several years as a Research Assistant at Cornell University. During that time, she led projects in collaboration with the AFL-CIO at the Office of Labor Education Research housed within Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations. Casey was also part of Dr. Chris Barrett’s research group in the Dyson School of Applied Economics and Management, where she worked on the World Bank’s "Agriculture in Africa—Telling Facts from Myths" project and co-authored research on health and agricultural productivity published in the African Development Bank Group Working Papers Series. 

She received her B.A. in Economics and Mathematics from Cornell University.

Summer Fellow, Project on Deep Poverty

Donovan Hicks Headshot

Donovan Hicks

Donovan Hicks is a Summer Fellow at the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality's Project on Deep Poverty. This summer, Donovan will research long-term care provider rates across the country and expand the center's work on integrated community-based service deliveries as a practical idea. Donovan's passion lies at the intersection of economic equality and educational opportunity for communities of color.

Donovan is a first-generation college graduate from Wofford College -- a small, private liberal arts college in Spartaburg, SC. He graduated Magna Cum Laude and Phi Beta Kappa with a B.A. degree in Government and a B.S. degree in Finance, and a minor in Accounting. During his time there, he was heavily involved in student action having been elected as a sophomore Student Body Vice President around issues of sexual assault and binge drinking. He also served as President of the Pre-Law Society, Attorney General, Wofford Ambassador, and as Representative to the Board of Trustees. As a Bonner Scholar, Donovan served over 1600 community service hours at South Carolina Legal Services -- a legal aid firm for local residents 100-200% of the poverty line. There, he help streamlined the organization's processes to serve a greater population of the Spartanburg area. He also started his own local community initiative, Student-2-Student (S2S), whose goal was to increase the number of first-generation college students from his own Alma Mater. Donovan was named a National Gates Millennium Scholar in 2012, a National Harry S. Truman Scholar in 2015, and a Rhodes Scholar Nominee in 2016. 

Donovan will begin working with Deloitte Federal Consulting as a Strategy and Operations Federal Analyst in DC this fall.

Summer Fellow, Project on Deep Poverty

Zachariah Oquenda Headshot

Zachariah Oquenda

Zachariah Oquenda is a Summer Fellow at the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality's Project on Deep Poverty. Zachariah anticipates using his experience and education to research the development and implementation of workable policy solutions to alleviate poverty and inequality across the United States. 

Zachariah graduated with Honors as an Edward J. Sexton Fellow of Philosophy, Politics, and Economics from Claremont McKenna College in Claremont, California. Part social entrepreneur, part activist, and part scholar, he has worn many hats in service to his community. As a social entrepreneur, Zachariah co-founded Raffle For Good, a fundraising platform aimed to reinvent online philanthropy, earning a spot as one of ten finalists to pitch at the 2014 Sustainable Brands Innovation Open. As an activist, he founded the Pay-it-Forward Initiative, which supports first-generation college students with scholarship funds to explore public service opportunities. As a scholar, he received awards for research on civil asset forfeiture, juvenile criminal justice, and state and local campaign finance law. Zachariah was also selected as the 2015 Truman Scholar from California. 

This fall, Zachariah will return to California to attend Berkeley Law School, where he hopes he may learn the skills to continue the fight for justice and advocate positive change on behalf of traditionally marginalized and underserved communities.

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