Staff

michael_cassidy_2Michael Cassidy
President and CEO
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Michael is the founder and president of The Commonwealth Institute for Fiscal Analysis. He provides the vision, inspiration, and strategic management to achieve the organization’s goals of a more prosperous Virginia and greater economic opportunity for all Virginians. Under his leadership, TCI has grown from a small startup into the state’s leading independent voice on state fiscal and economic policy issues. With over 20 years in public policy, his insights are regularly featured in state and national media about the key state and federal policy matters under debate. He serves on the Council for Virginia’s Future and the board of the Sacred Heart Center, a non-profit hub for the Latino community in Richmond. He previously worked as an analyst at the U.S. Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Virginia Department of Planning and Budget. He has a master’s in public policy from the College of William and Mary and a B.S. from Georgetown University.

 

chris_duncombe_2Chris Duncombe
Senior Policy Analyst
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Chris leads TCI’s analytical work on public education and workforce training. His analysis on the funding trends in  public education in Virginia has earned headlines across the state. Before joining the Institute, Chris worked for Virginia’s Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission, the General Assembly’s program evaluation agency, where he investigated workforce development programs and looked for opportunities for schools and local governments to partner in providing services. His prior studies and travel have taken him from Mexico to New Zealand. He has a master’s degree in public administration from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University, and a B.A. from Dickinson College.

 
Patrick_Getlein_3
Patrick Getlein
Director of Communications/COO
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Patrick brings nearly 30 years experience in communications work to TCI, where he leads the charge to make the Institute’s analysis accessible to a non-technical audience. A skilled editor and media relations professional, Patrick cultivates and maintains trusted relations with national, state, and local journalists. He is the original architect of TCI’s Web site and has guided the Institute’s communications efforts through the technological and media changes of the last decade. Before joining TCI in 2008, he was Communications Director for the Episcopal Diocese of Virginia, and his professional career includes stints as an advertising copywriter, and a food and wine columnist. He serves on the board of Christchurch School in Middlesex County and is a trustee of the Virginia Diocesan Center at Roslyn. He has a B.A. from Hampden-Sydney College.

 

kenneth_gilliamKenneth Gilliam
Policy Associate
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In his role as a Policy Associate, Kenneth is a key contributor to TCI’s work to advance opportunity and reduce inequity through changes in education and health care policy. He  coordinates Health Care for All Virginians, a statewide coalition of organizations and individuals working to help create and advocate for accessible and affordable quality healthcare for all Virginians. Before joining the Institute, Kenneth worked for Old Dominion University and served as a Southern Education Leadership Initiative fellow with the Georgia Budget and Policy Institute. He has a master’s degree in higher education from Indiana University Bloomington, and a B.A. from James Madison University.

 

laura_goren_2Laura Goren
Research Director
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Laura directs TCI’s research across the organization and loves digging into data to make sure the strongest analysis is being brought to bear on the key issues facing middle class and low-income Virginians. Her own portfolio includes analyzing macroeconomic conditions in Virginia and safety net programs and executing the Institute’s growing work assessing the role of immigrants in Virginia. A dedicated and passionate advocate for fairness across the board, Laura has been active in grassroots social and economic justice work since college, as well as serving in numerous roles in Quaker organizations locally and nationally. Laura previously served as a research assistant at the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight, where she conducted research on housing finance issues. She has a master’s in sociology from Virginia Commonwealth University and a B.A. from Towson University.

 

lisa_salita_1Lisa Salita
Communications Associate
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Lisa supports the Institute’s strategic communications work across issue portfolios and organizational priorities. Before coming to TCI, Lisa worked in data analytics, reporting, project management, and process change consulting in the private sector. She has a BA in Economics from The College of William and Mary and a Masters in Divinity from Union Presbyterian Seminary.

 

chad_stewart_1Chad Stewart
Research Assistant
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Chad contributes to policy research and analysis across all areas of TCI’s operations. He assists each team member in meeting their goals through timely and effective data collection and examination. He is passionate about improving social welfare outcomes for all Virginians. Before joining TCI, Chad worked as an educator in Detroit, Michigan and the Richmond metro area. His prior professional experience also includes conducting research in health care and the microfinance sector. Chad has a master’s degree from the University of Michigan’s School of Education and a B.A. in Economics from Connecticut College.

 

Chris_Wodicka_1Chris Wodicka
Policy Analyst
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Chris works on tax policy issues for TCI. Before joining the Institute, he spent several years in the Midwest, where he worked at the Wisconsin Center for Education Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the State of Wisconsin’s Legislative Audit Bureau, and the Center for Evaluation and Education Policy at Indiana University. Much of his professional work has centered on education funding, from early childhood through higher education. He also previously worked full-time in schools in Seattle, WA and Pryor, MT. He holds a master’s degree in public affairs from the School of Public and Environmental Affairs at Indiana University Bloomington and a B.A. in English from the University of Notre Dame.