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Elsa Falkenburger

Elsa Falkenburger

Senior Research Associate

I am an advocate at heart and passionate about informing more responsible and effective public policy. We do that best when we have data that provide a clear understanding of the problem and proof of the kinds of programs and policies that have a real impact on people’s lives.


Elsa Falkenburger is a senior research associate in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center at the Urban Institute, where she is part of the Neighborhoods and Youth Development initiative. Her portfolio includes being project manager for the Housing Opportunity and Services Together demonstration and the Promoting Adolescent Sexual Health and Safety project—follow-on research to the Moving to Opportunity demonstration. Falkenburger has also worked with the DC Promise Neighborhoods Initiative since its launch in 2010, assisting with the needs assessment and process study. She has experience working on place-based initiatives, community based participatory research, performance measurement, formative evaluations, and other qualitative research methods.

Before joining Urban, Falkenburger advocated for best practices in youth gang prevention, intervention, and rehabilitation in the United States and Latin America. During graduate school, she worked at the KDK-Harman Foundation helping grantees develop logic models and performance indicators for evaluating and improving educational programs for low-income youth.

Falkenburger has an MPA from the Lyndon B. Johnson School of Public Affairs at the University of Texas, Austin.