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Leiha Edmonds is a research associate in the Metropolitan Housing and Communities Policy Center at the Urban Institute. Edmonds conducts mixed method and community engaged research focused on social and economic inequality in Baltimore and across the country. Her portfolio includes leading the evaluation of the Love Your Block Initiative, a 10-city program supporting community leaders to address blight in their own neighborhoods; the East Baltimore Research Project, training East Baltimore residents to collect and interpret data that can be used to inform community change; and the Cooperative Policy Project, creating a toolkit to connect employee ownership policy to economic development initiatives at the municipal and state levels.
In addition to her research and evaluation portfolio, Edmonds provides training and technical assistance to nonprofit organizations on data use and evaluation. Since 2018, she has managed Urban’s Measure4Change initiative to build performance management and evaluation capacity among DC- and Baltimore-area nonprofits through intensive technical assistance, curricula development, grant making, and peer-network development.
Before joining Urban, Edmonds worked as community development planner for the City of Evanston, Illinois, and as a community and union organizer in Chicago and East St. Louis, Illinois. Edmonds holds a master's degree in urban planning and policy from the University of Illinois at Chicago.