Meet our Experts! Connect with thought leaders, practitioners, researchers, and policy makers who are experts in their field. Click below to view their profiles, follow their activity on the site, and contact them for more information.


Colleen Hennessy

City of Portland

I studied political science, international development and community development at Tufts University, National University of Ireland and Wageningen University (The Netherlands). I am a contributor for Shelterforce, the magazine for community development professionals and an expert in social policy. I have published research, commentary and analysis of public policy in Ireland and the US for Ms. Magazine, the Bangor Daily News, and Rutledge Press.

Keely Stater

HAI Group/Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation

Keely has a PhD in Sociology leads PAHRC's research efforts. Her work uses both descriptive statistics and advanced regression methods to understand the need for and impact of housing assistance on individuals and communities.

Susan Popkin

The Urban Institute

Susan J. Popkin, Ph.D. is both Director of The Urban Institute’s Program on Neighborhoods and Youth Development and a Senior Fellow in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center. A nationally-recognized expert on assisted housing and mobility, Dr. Popkin directs a research program that focuses on the ways neighborhood environments affect outcomes for youth, and in conducting evaluations of complex community-based interventions. She is the Director of the HOST Demonstration and HOST Network and co-Principal Investigator for the evaluation of the Casey Foundation’s Family-Centered...

Amber-Lee Leslie

Council of Large Public Housing Authorities

Amber-Lee Leslie is a Policy Analyst at CLPHA where she focuses on legislation and policy related to the Housing Choice Voucher program. She has worked in the Atlanta metro area as a Research Assistant on a variety of social policy issues including affordable housing and public-private partnerships for urban development. She has also worked to improve literacy among pre-schoolers and immigrant families through Americorps service. Amber-Lee earned her master’s degree in Public Administration with a focus in urban development from Georgia State University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Political...

Kelly McElwain

Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation

Kelly McElwain engages in research, data collection, and data management as a Research Analyst at the Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation (PAHRC). She manages the National Housing Preservation Database, a tool that enables advocates to identify properties that are at risk of being lost for the affordable housing stock. Since 2014, her research has focused on describing the affordable housing market and understanding the value housing assistance provides to those who receive it. She holds a BS in Policy Studies from Syracuse University and is working towards her Masters of...