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Carol J. De Vita

Carol J. De Vita

Senior fellow

I was drawn to the Urban Institute because of its tradition of studying and evaluating government programs that directly affect people’s lives. I’ve stayed and built my career at Urban because of its commitment to producing rigorous, high-quality research; the intellectual capital of its scholars to inform and shape public policies; and the enduring social networks and friendships that the workplace fosters.


Carol De Vita, a senior fellow in the Urban Institute’s Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, is an experienced researcher and project manager, specializing in the role, capacity, and financial wellbeing of community-based organizations, including faith-based organizations. Her current research focuses on capacity-building efforts to improve the performance of nonprofit organizations and government programs through outcome measures and performance management.

De Vita has written extensively on a broad range of issues, including response and recovery efforts after major disasters such as Hurricane Katrina and 9/11; the availability and accessibility of supportive services for low-income children and families; the racial-ethnic diversity of nonprofit leadership; and the role of nonprofit organizations in helping immigrants incorporate into civil society. Prior to joining Urban, De Vita was a senior demographer and director of publications at the Population Reference Bureau. Her work focused on demographic trends and their implications for public policy.

De Vita earned her BA in history at Northwestern University, MA in demography at Georgetown University, and her PhD in social welfare policy from the Heller School at Brandeis University. She is a founding member of Northwestern University’s Council of One Hundred that connects highly successful alumnae to female students and graduates to help further the advancement of women throughout their careers.