Brett Theodos is a senior fellow and director 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 is leading a series of 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 has led multiple studies of affordable homeownership supports, including shared equity models like community land trusts. In the financial capability space, he has led studies of financial coaching, financial curriculum, and rules of thumb for decisionmaking. He has 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. Relatedly, he has led three RCT evaluations of youth workforce and education preparedness programs.
Theodos serves on the Board of the Center for Community Progress and the Douglass Community Land Trust.
Theodos received his BA from Northwestern University, MPP from Georgetown University, and PhD in public policy from George Washington University.
Research AreasPoverty, Vulnerability, and the Safety Net Housing and Housing Finance Economic Growth and Productivity Income and Wealth Neighborhoods, Cities, and Metros Finance
Research Report Economic developmentJune 17, 2020
Brief FinanceJune 17, 2020
Christina Plerhoples Stacy, Christopher Davis, Benny Docter, Leiha Edmonds, Jorge González, Ananya Hariharan, Brady Meixell, Alex Peffley, Nancy M. Pindus, Prasanna Rajasekaran, Daniel Teles, Brett Theodos, Mark TreskonFebruary 28, 2020
Fact Sheet Economic Growth and ProductivityJanuary 14, 2020
Technical Paper Economic Growth and ProductivityJanuary 9, 2020
Fact Sheet Neighborhoods, Cities, and MetrosDecember 4, 2019
Testimony Neighborhoods, Cities, and MetrosA Tailored Opportunity Zone Incentive Could Bring Greater Benefits to Distressed Communities and Less Cost to the Federal GovernmentOctober 17, 2019
Brief Taxes and BudgetSeptember 25, 2019
Building Community and Wealth in Underserved Commercial Corridors: Chicago’s Neighborhood Opportunity FundJuly 18, 2019