Tracey A. Rutnik is director of program development in the Urban Institute’s Research to Action Lab. The Lab draws on the breadth and depth of Urban’s research insights to test new strategies; develop cutting-edge tools, programs, and trainings; and provide strategic advice to public, philanthropic, nonprofit, and private-sector leaders. Rutnik has more than 20 years of experience at the intersection of policy and practice in the charitable sector, applying innovative strategies to engage funders, practitioners, and policymakers and equip them with knowledge and best practices to improve program design and delivery.
Previously, she was deputy director for research and policy in the Aspen Institute’s Program on Philanthropy and Social Innovation, which focused on maximizing the effectiveness of the charitable sector. Before joining the Aspen Institute, Rutnik was senior adviser to the chief executive officer of NeighborWorks America, a national nonprofit organization created by Congress to create affordable housing and revitalize low-income communities. Previously, Rutnik held senior positions at the Fannie Mae Foundation and the Association of Baltimore Area Grantmakers, where she advanced philanthropic strategy and practice through direct technical assistance, program evaluation, and research. While at the Fannie Mae Foundation, she was an associate editor for the peer-reviewed journal Housing Policy Debate.
Rutnik graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Rutgers College with a degree in history and political science, and she holds a master’s degree from the Rutgers University School of Criminal Justice, earning the Richard J. Hughes Award for highest academic standing.