Mariana Amorim is an Assistant Professor of Sociology at Washington State University. Amorim relies on qualitative and quantitative methods to study families, poverty and inequality, and social policies. Her work sheds light on the role of public, private, and “shadow” safety nets in promoting the well-being of parents and children during an era of increasing family complexity and economic inequality. For instance, she is investigating socioeconomic disparities in the consequences of cash-transfer policies for the financial and non-financial well-being of families with children. Her recent findingscontradict current policy discourses implying that lower-income parents cannot be trusted to spend cash-transfers in ways that benefit children. In another line of research, she investigates families’ use of high-interest debt, which is often considered a form of “shadow” welfare state. Her work in this area suggests that high-cost debt fills a gap left by inadequate public welfare and/or strained social networks in the lives of low-income families and that the relationship between high-cost debt and well-being is complex and multifaceted.
Lisa M. Bates
Lisa M. Bates is Vice Chair for Education and Assistant Professor of Epidemiology at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health. Professor Bates is a social epidemiologist currently engaged in research programs focused on the social determinants of health in both the U.S. and South Asian contexts. In the U.S., her research draws on secondary data sources to interrogate structural drivers of socially patterned health outcomes in terms of gender, race, class, and immigration status, and mechanisms by which features of the social environment impact health, with a particular emphasis on common mental disorders. Professor Bates was born and raised in Anchorage.
Annie Chean is an MPA candidate at NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service. She wants to inform policy making to make positive impacts on economic equity and education, especially among Alaska Native and Native American communities. From 2018 to present, Annie divides her time between NYC and being a resident of St. Michael, a rural Alaska Native village of around 400, where she works at Anthony A. Andrews School as an on-call Special Education paraprofessional. Annie is also a graduate junior researcher at NYU Wagner for the NYC 2025 project.
Katherine Cramer is a Professor of Political Science and the Natalie C. Holton Chair of Letters & Science at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Her work focuses on the way people in the United States make sense of politics and their place in it. She is known for her innovative approach to the study of public opinion, in which she uses methods like inviting herself into the conversations of groups of people to listen to the way they understand public affairs. Her award-winning book, The Politics of Resentment: Rural Consciousness in Wisconsin and the Rise of Scott Walker, brought to light rural resentment toward cities and its implications for contemporary politics. She is the author of Talking about Race: Community Dialogues and the Politics of Difference, and Talking about Politics: Informal Groups and Social Identity in American Life. Among many honors, Professor Cramer is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Greg Duncan is Distinguished Professor of Education at University of California at Irvine. Professor Duncan has studied the economic mobility of the U.S. population, both within and across generations, with a particular focus on low-income families. More specifically, he has investigated the roles families, peers, neighborhoods and public policy play in affecting the life chances of children and adolescents. His research has highlighted the importance of early childhood as a sensitive period for the damaging influences of economic deprivation as well as for the beneficial impacts of policy-induced income increases for working families. The focus of his more recent research has shifted from these environmental influences to the comparative importance of the skills and behaviors developed during childhood. In particular, he has sought to understand the relative importance of early academic skills, cognitive and emotional self-regulation, and health in promoting children’s eventual success in school and the labor market. Currently he is part of a team, including Lisa Gennetian, conducting a random-assignment trial assessing impacts of income supplements on the cognitive development of infants born to poor mothers in four diverse U.S. communities.
Andrew Gelman is a Professor of Statistics and Political Science at Columbia University. Professor Gelman’s books include Bayesian Data Analysis (with John Carlin, Hal Stern, David Dunson, Aki Vehtari, and Don Rubin), Teaching Statistics: A Bag of Tricks (with Deb Nolan), Data Analysis Using Regression and Multilevel/Hierarchical Models (with Jennifer Hill), Red State, Blue State, Rich State, Poor State: Why Americans Vote the Way They Do (with David Park, Boris Shor, and Jeronimo Cortina), A Quantitative Tour of the Social Sciences (co-edited with Jeronimo Cortina), and Regression and Other Stories (with Jennifer Hill and Aki Vehtari).
Lisa A Gennetian
Lisa Gennetian is Professor of Early Learning Policy Studies at the Duke Sanford School of Public Policy. Professor Gennetian is an applied economist whose research straddles a variety of areas concerning child poverty from income security and stability to early care and education with a particular lens toward identifying causal mechanisms underlying how child poverty shapes children’s development. Professor Gennetian, along with Greg Duncan and others, is a co-PI on the first multi-site multi-year randomized control study of a monthly unconditional cash transfer to low income mothers of infants in the U.S. called Baby’s First Years.
Carol Gore is the President and CEO of the Cook Inlet Housing Authority. She has mapped a new strategic direction for the Authority to aggressively develop quality affordable housing and affordable housing programs throughout Alaska's Southcentral region.
Mouhcine Guettabi is an Associate Professor of Economics at the University of Alaska, Anchorage. Professor Guettabi has written extensively on the Alaska Permanent Fund Dividend and a wide range of outcomes including obesity, crime and the labor market. He is now focused on the PFD and health.
William “Willie” Hensley is the Distinguished Visiting Professor in the Department of Business and Public Policy at UAA. He retired from Alyeska Pipeline Service Company. Prior to his employment with Alyeska, Professor Hensley served Alaska in numerous ways: He was elected to the Alaska House of Representatives and Senate;
He was appointed Commissioner of Commerce and Economic Development by Governor Tony Knowles. He also served on the Oil and Gas Policy Council, the Board of directors of the Alaska Permanent Fund Corporation, the Alaska Railroad and the Alaska Industrial Development Authority. Professor Hensley sat on the Board of Regents for the University of Alaska from 1984 to 1987. He served the Alaska Native as a director of NANA for 20 years, became the president of NANA Development Corporation and finally President of NANA Regional Corporation. He co-founded the Alaska Federation of Natives in 1966 and served as a director, executive director, President and co-Chair. He serves as co-chair of the First Alaskans Institute.
Jennifer Johnson-Hanks is an anthropologist and cultural demographer whose empirical work focuses mostly on family variation and change, with a focus on whether and how intentions matter, especially in contexts of uncertainty. Professor Johnson-Hanks is a Professor of Sociology and Demography at the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Johnson-Hanks is the author of Uncertain Honor which explores the relationship between population rates and cultural practices through a study of the transition to motherhood among educated women in Southern Cameroon and the co-author of Understanding Family Change and Variation: Toward a theory of Conjunctural Action which argues that fertility and family behaviors are therefore best understood as a function not just of individual traits, but of the structured contexts in which behavior occurs. Her third book, How We Count will be published in 2021. Drawing examples from demography, sociology, economics, and political science, this book argues that quantitative methods are essential tools for understanding society, but only if we change how we use them: focusing more on the dynamics of social groups than on differences between individuals, and thinking more deeply about the social processes that produce the data we observe. Professor Johnson-Hanks was born and raised in Ketchikan, Alaska.
Deborah Karasek is an Assistant Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Reproductive Sciences at the University of California, San Francisco. An epidemiologist, Professor Karasek’s work focuses on economic policy and interventions to reduce inequities in pregnancy and birth. She co-leads the evaluation of the Abundant Birth Project (ABP), the first pilot of a guaranteed income program in pregnancy in the US. ABP is a community-engaged program, rooted in health equity, and will distribute an unconditional monthly income supplement to low-income Black and Pacific Islander pregnant women in San Francisco in an effort to improve maternal and infant outcomes.
Jonathan Kreiss-Tomkins is a legislator in the Alaska House of Representatives representing Sitka, where he was born and raised, as well as 21 other rural Southeast Alaska communities. He has served in office since 2013. Representative Kreiss-Tomkins' signature legislative achievements include making Alaska's Native languages official, and has been closely involved in establishing policy to create automatic voter registration for adult citizens applying for the Permanent Fund Dividend. He also served as one of three House members on the Alaska Legislature's 2019-2020 Bicameral Permanent Fund Working Group.
Molly A. Martin
Molly A. Martin is an Associate Professor of Sociology and Demography at the Pennsylvania State University. Broadly, Professor Martin’s research examines the reproduction of inequality across generations. She currently leads projects examining the causal effect of increasing income on fertility, women's pregnancy behaviors, and children's health and well-being by leveraging the economic boom created by the development of the Marcellus Shale formation for natural gas extraction.
Stephen Morgan is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Education at Johns Hopkins University and is the author, along with Christopher Winship, of Counterfactuals and Causal Inference: Methods and Principles for Social Research.
State Senator Robert Myers represents Alaska's District B which includes Badger, College, Steele Creek and neighbors. Senator Myers was born in Fairbanks and currently lives in North Pole. Prior to serving in the state Senate, Myers worked as a truck driver and tour bus operator.
Brea Louise Perry
Brea Perry is a Professor of Sociology and an affiliated faculty of the Indiana University Network Science Institute. Professor Perry’s research investigates the interrelated roles of social networks, biomarkers, social psychology, and social inequality in health and illness, especially mental illness and substance use disorders. She has a strong interest in longitudinal research, dynamic social processes, and quantitative methods, especially personal social network analysis. She began her career at the University of Kentucky before returning to Indiana University in 2014, where she received her PhD in 2008.
Eric Ries is an entrepreneur and author of the New York Times bestseller The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Business. He works with many for-profit, non-profit and educational institutions including Harvard Business School, IDEO, the C19Coalition and HelpKitchen among others. You can hear Eric in conversation with leaders from all sectors who are providing and coordinating relief efforts during the COVID-19 pandemic on Out of the Crisis.
Jeffrey J. Sallaz is an ethnographer and a professor of sociology. Professor Sallaz has worked at the University of Arizona since receiving his PhD from the University of California at Berkeley in 2005. Professor Sallaz has researched work, poverty, and inequality both in the United States and around the world. Representative publications include Lives on the Line (Oxford University Press), Labor, Economy and Society (Polity Press), and "Exit Tales: How Precarious Workers Navigate Bad Jobs" (Journal of Contemporary Ethnography). He is commencing an ethnographic project conceptualizing Alaska's permanent fund dividend as a form of basic income. His research will focus on differences within and across families in terms of how fund income is interpreted, earmarked, and allocated. How, this research asks, do gender, social class, and generation shape these processes?
Mike "Dozer" Shower is a legislator in the Alaska Senate representing Mat-Su, Delta Junction, Copper River Valley, Talkeetna and Valdez. He has served in office since 2018. Senator Mike Shower served in the Air Force for 24 years and made Alaska his home when he chose to be stationed at Elmendorf Air Force Base in 1993. Senator Shower sits on the Judiciary Committee and has sponsored bills to protect Alaska's election integrity and the judiciary. Throughout his time in office and especially while serving on the Senate Finance Committee, Senator Shower advocated for strengthening the Permanent Fund Dividend.
C. Matthew Snipp
C. Matthew Snipp is the Burnet C. and Mildred Finley Wohlford Professor of Humanities and Sciences in the Department of Sociology at Stanford University. He is also the Director for the Institute for Research in the Social Science’s Secure Data Center and formerly directed Stanford’s Center for the Comparative Study of Race and Ethnicity (CCSRE). For nearly ten years, he served as an appointed member of the Census Bureau’s Racial and Ethnic Advisory Committee. His current research is on the methodology of racial measurement, changes in the social and economic well-being of American ethnic minorities, and American Indian education.
Florencia Torche is Professor of Sociology at Stanford University. Professor Torche has expertise in social demography, stratification, and education. Professor Torche’s scholarship examines inequality dynamics including intergenerational mobility, disparities in educational attainment, and assortative mating, among others. Her research also examines the influence of early-life exposures –starting before birth– on individual well-being and inequality. She is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences, and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences since 2020.
Tian Zheng is Professor of Statistics at Columbia University. Professor Zheng is interested in developing novel methods and improving existing methods for exploring and analyzing interesting patterns in complex data from different application domains. Her current projects are in the fields of statistical genetics, bioinformatics and computational biology, feature selection and classification, and social network analysis.