As a practitioner-turned-analyst, I am passionate about contributing to work that explores the impact of policies on vulnerable populations and creates accessible and rigorous evidence that can be utilized to improve public-policy outcomes.
Kassandra Martinchek is a research associate in the Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population at the Urban Institute and an expert on food security, food access, and financial well-being. At Urban, she leverages qualitative analysis, econometrics, and “big” data to understand disparities in families’ financial health and access to food, structural barriers to financial and food security, and policies that can reduce these gaps. She is the coprincipal investigator of the Arlington Food Security and Access Study, which examines families’ access to public benefits and charitable food in Arlington, Virginia; directs the Healthier Food Access Study, which evaluates 11 innovative charitable food programs; and is the lead analyst for an evaluation of meta-oppression in the credit system. She has published more than 28 research works, which have been cited in KQED-The Forum, NBC4 Washington, TheBaltimore Banner, NextAdvisor, MarketWatch, and Forbes.
Before joining Urban, she worked on evaluating and implementing child nutrition programs that served more than 5,200 children each week in Pennsylvania and New York, including leading a mixed-methods evaluation of how current food resources meet families’ needs. She holds an MPA from the University of Wisconsin–Madison and is pursuing her PhD in public policy and administration from George Washington University.