photo of Chitra Balakrishnan
Chitra Balakrishnan
Research Analyst
Office of Race and Equity Research

Chitra Balakrishnan is a research analyst in the Office of Race and Equity Research at the Urban Institute, where she works on research projects that equip changemakers to advance equity-focused policy initiatives.

Before joining Urban, Balakrishnan worked in Illinois governor J. B. Pritzker’s office on issues related to infrastructure, energy, environment, and public safety. She was involved with planning and implementation efforts stemming from Illinois’s Climate and Equitable Jobs Act and the federal Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. She is passionate about data-driven policies that incorporate the perspectives of affected communities.

Balakrishnan attended Duke University and holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy with a minor in mathematics.

Research Areas
Economic mobility and inequality
Race and equity
Climate change, disasters, and community resilience
Race, gender, class, and ethnicity
Racial and ethnic disparities
Structural racism