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Kathryn L.S. Pettit
Senior Fellow
Codirector, National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership
Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center
Working at Urban offers me the opportunity to apply its tradition of rigorous and relevant research to the study of neighborhood conditions and interventions. Our national and comprehensive perspective allows us to understand the diversity of local communities.

Kathryn Pettit is a senior fellow in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center at the Urban Institute, where her research focuses on neighborhood change and how communities use data for more effective and equitable decisionmaking. Pettit is a recognized expert on several small-area local and national data sources and on the use of neighborhood data in research, policymaking, and program development. She has conducted research on many topics, including neighborhood redevelopment, federally assisted housing, and local housing markets and conditions.

Pettit directs the National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP), a network of more than 30 local organizations that helps local communities use data to shape strategies and investments so that all neighborhoods are places where people can thrive. She also coleads the Catalyst Grant Program, which helps nonprofit organizations use data and technology to advance racial equity and reform in the criminal legal system. She frequently presents the role of data in community change and has produced two books on the topic: Strengthening Communities for Neighborhood Data and What Counts: Harnessing Data for America's Communities.

Before assuming her current position, Pettit worked in Urban’s Center on Nonprofits and Philanthropy, where she analyzed Internal Revenue Service data on nonprofit organizations. Pettit earned her bachelor’s degree in international affairs and humanities and her master’s degree in public policy from Georgetown University.

Research Areas
Nonprofits and philanthropy
Neighborhoods, cities, and metros
Social safety net
Race and equity
Community and economic development
Racial barriers to accessing the safety net
National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership (NNIP)
Neighborhood change
Community data use
Place-based initiatives