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Brett Theodos
Senior Fellow
Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center

Brett Theodos is a senior fellow and director of the Community Economic Development Hub at the Urban Institute. His work focuses on economic and community development, neighborhood change, affordable homeownership, consumer finance, and program evaluation and learning.

His research includes evaluations of the Economic Development Administration, New Markets Tax Credit, Small Business Administration loan and investment programs, Opportunity Zones, and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Choice Neighborhoods, Community Development Block Grant, and Section 108 programs. He is studying how capital flows (or fails to flow) into communities, including the role of mission finance actors like community development financial institutions. He leads projects researching how entrepreneurs can access capital.

Theodos has conducted studies of neighborhood change and geographic mobility. He is evaluating several place-based initiatives. He’s led studies of affordable homeownership supports, including shared equity models like community land trusts. In the financial capability space, he’s led studies of financial coaching, financial curriculum, and rules of thumb for decisionmaking. He’s explored the geography of debt.

Theodos is working to grow nonprofit capacity in performance measurement. He directs Measure4Change, which provides technical assistance and facilitates a community of practice for nonprofits and has led randomized controlled trial evaluations of youth workforce and education preparedness programs.

Theodos serves on the Board of the Center for Community Progress, the Douglass Community Land Trust, and the Housing Authority of Prince George’s County.

Theodos received his BA from Northwestern University, MPP from Georgetown University, and PhD in public policy from George Washington University.

Research Areas
Economic mobility and inequality
Wealth and financial well-being
Neighborhoods, cities, and metros
Social safety net
State and local finance
Opportunity and ownership
Washington, DC, research initiative
Beyond high school: education and training
Evidence-based policy capacity
Community and economic development
Small businesses