C. Nicole Mason, Ph.D.

Position: President & CEO

Recently named one of the World’s 50 Greatest Leaders by Fortune Magazine, Dr. C. Nicole Mason is the president and chief executive officer of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR). Having stepped into the role in November 2019, Dr. Mason is the youngest person currently leading one of the major inside-the-Beltway think tanks in Washington, D.C., and one of the few women of color to do so. She succeeded noted economist and MacArthur Fellow Heidi Hartmann, the Institute’s founding CEO.

As one of the nation’s foremost intersectional researchers and scholars, Dr. C. Nicole Mason brings a fresh perspective and a wealth of experience to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. For the past two decades, Dr. Mason has spearheaded research on issues relating to economic security, poverty, women’s issues, and entitlement reforms; policy formation and political participation among women, communities of color; and racial equity. Prior to IWPR, Dr. Mason was the executive director of the Women of Color Policy Network at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, the nation’s only research and policy center focused on women of color at a nationally ranked school of public administration. She is also an inaugural Ascend Fellow at the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C.

At the start of the pandemic, she coined the term she-cession to describe the disproportionate impact of the employment and income losses on women. Dr. Mason is the author of Born Bright: A Young Girl’s Journey from Nothing to Something in America (St. Martin’s Press) and has written hundreds of articles on women, poverty, and economic security. Her writing and commentary have been featured in the New York Times, MSNBC, CNN, NBC, CBS, the Washington Post, Marie Claire, the Progressive, ESSENCE, Bustle, BIG THINK, Miami Herald, Democracy Now, and numerous NPR affiliates, among others.

C. Nicole Mason, Ph.D.

President & CEO

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Cynthia Hess, Ph.D.

Position: Chief Operating Officer

Cynthia Hess is Chief Operating Officer (COO) at IWPR and Scholar in Residence at American University. In her role as COO, Cynthia oversees the operations of the Institute while working with program staff to support the execution of research and other projects. As COO, Cynthia serves as a member of the executive leadership team within the organization and works closely with the President and staff to develop and implement organizational systems and processes to maximize efficiency and support future growth.

Prior to her position as COO, Cynthia served as Associate Director of Research, directing IWPR’s research on numerous issues including projects on intimate partner violence, workforce development, and women’s leadership and activism. Under her tenure, IWPR expanded its longstanding Status of Women in States project and launched an accompanying website, statusofwomendata.org. Cynthia has been quoted in a number of media outlets including The Washington Post, Fortune, Governing magazine and, The Boston Globe.

Before joining the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, Dr. Hess taught for two years as a visiting faculty member in the Philosophy and Religious Studies Department at St. Mary’s College of Maryland. She received her Ph.D. in Theology from Yale University and her A.B. from Davidson College.

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Cynthia Hess, Ph.D.

Chief Operating Officer

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Jeff Hayes, Ph.D.

Position: Program Director, Job Quality and Income Security

Jeff Hayes is a sociologist and Scholar in Residence at American University and works on research examining women’s and men’s employment, job quality, and economic security over the life course, including retirement. He currently oversees IWPR’s work analyzing usage and cost of paid family and medical leave in the United States and provides technical assistance to several states and localities considering how they might improve workers’ access to paid leave for their own health needs or to care for family members. Dr. Hayes has been interviewed on paid leave, income security, and job quality issues in The Washington Post, MarketWatch, Huffington Post, CNN Money, CNBC, and other outlets around the country.

Dr. Hayes has testified on the costs of paid leave proposals before the New York City Council, the DC city council, and the Maryland House Economic Matters committee. He is currently serving on the Maryland Task Force to Study Family and Medical Leave Insurance. He served on the Commission to Modernize Social Security and has provided technical assistance to members of the US Congress on including credits for caregiving in Social Security. Dr. Hayes is a member of the National Academy of Social Insurance. As an experienced survey researcher, Dr. Hayes advises on IWPR’s survey work and conducts major surveys such as the IWPR/Rockefeller Survey of Economic Security.

Prior to joining IWPR, Dr. Hayes worked at the McGill Institute for Health and Social Policy and the Harvard Project on Global Working Families, analyzing how labor conditions affect children’s health and development around the world, and taught research methods at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He holds Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Religious Studies from the University of Virginia.

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Jeff Hayes, Ph.D.

Program Director, Job Quality and Income Security

Jeff Hayes is a sociologist and Scholar in Residence at...

Ariane Hegewisch, M.Phil.

Position: Program Director, Employment and Earnings

Ariane Hegewisch is Program Director of Employment and Earnings at IWPR and Scholar in Residence at American University; prior to that she spent two years at IWPR as a scholar-in-residence. She came to IWPR from the Center for WorkLife Law at UC Hastings. She is responsible for IWPR’s research on workplace discrimination and is a specialist in comparative human resource management, with a focus on policies and legislative approaches to facilitate greater work life reconciliation and gender equality, in the US and internationally. Prior to coming to the USA she taught comparative European human resource management at Cranfield School of Management in the UK where she was a founding researcher of the Cranet Survey of International HRM, the largest independent survey of human resource management policies and practices, covering 25 countries worldwide. She started her career  in local economic development, developing strategies for greater gender equality in employment and training in  local government in the UK. She has published many papers and articles and co-edited several books, including ‘Women, work and inequality: The challenge of equal pay in a deregulated labour market”. She is German and has a BSc in Economics from the London School of Economics and an MPhil in Development Studies from the IDS, Sussex.

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Ariane Hegewisch, M.Phil.

Program Director, Employment and Earnings

Ariane Hegewisch is Program Director of Employment and Earnings at...

Federiga Bindi, Ph.D.

Position: Senior Fellow, Director of the Foreign Policy Initiative

Dr. Federiga Bindi is a new Senior Fellow at IWPR. She is also a tenured Professor of Political Science and Jean Monnet Chair at the University of Rome Tor Vergata, where she founded and directed the “Jean Monnet EU Center of Excellence” (2004-2012). She is also a Non Resident Senior Fellow at the Center for Transatlantic Relations. Professor Bindi, who has a PhD from the European University Institute, has been a Visiting Fellow in a number of prestigious international institutions, among which the Brookings Institution, the Institute d’Études Politiques in Paris, the Norwegian Institute of International Affairs, the University of Lisbon and the Université Libre de Bruxelles. Professor Bindi served in a number of senior positions in government, among which Senior Advisor to the Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs (2008-2011); Acting Director of International Affairs and Director of International Training of the Italian National School of Administration (2010-2012) and Director of the Italian Cultural Institute in Brussels (2012-2014). She published seven volumes, among which The Foreign Policy of the European Union: Assessing Europe’s Role in the World (2010 & 2012); The Frontiers of Europe: A Transatlantic Problem? (2011); Italy and the EU (2011), Analyzing European Union Politics (2012).

Federiga is currently editing a book Women Leaders in Foreign Policy for Brookings Press.

At IWPR, Federiga directs the Foreign Policy Initiative promoting women leadership in foreign policy and a feminist foreign policy. The project, which is financially supported by the European Commission, follows a previous initiative Federiga created in Brussels, Women Leaders in International Relations. She also leads the THE STATE OF WOMEN: Mapping Women Leadership in the World project, with support from the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union.


Women are mysteriously missing from D.C. think tanks’ foreign policy panels. Here’s the data.

Cracks in the IR Glass: The Evolving Relationship Between International Relations & Gender Equality

The End of the Pantsuit Nation and the Force of Subliminal Messages

Harassment in the Workplace: Why the US and the EU Must Act 

Women Leaders in (EU) Foreign Policy: will Mrs Be Better than Lady? 

Women Leaders in Foreign Policy: When Federica Mogherini Found Her Voice

Female Leaders in Misogynous Foreign Policy: An Example to Follow 

The State of Women in Post-Berlusconi Italy

Missing in Action: The Absence of Women Scholars on Foreign Policy Panels

Federiga Bindi, Ph.D.

Senior Fellow, Director of the Foreign Policy Initiative

Dr. Federiga Bindi is a new Senior Fellow at IWPR. She...

Lindsey Reichlin Cruse, M.A.

Position: Managing Director

Lindsey Reichlin is a Study Director at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Lindsey manages IWPR’s grant-funded projects under the Student Parent Success Initiative (SPSI), which promotes access to and success in college for women who are parents of dependent children. She also contributes to IWPR’s research on global women’s issues, including conducting case studies for a study funded by the International Finance Corporation on private sector provision of child care supports.

Lindsey has presented IWPR research at numerous events and conferences, including serving as a panelist on private sector strategies to promote work-family balance at UNDP’s Third Global Forum on Business for Gender Equality in Panama City. An expert on access to postsecondary education, Lindsey has been quoted in several outlets including The Washington Post, the National Journal, and Market Watch.

Prior to joining IWPR, Lindsey held positions at the Aspen Institute’s Global Leaders Council for Reproductive Health and at Global Policy Solutions in Washington, D.C. Lindsey has a Masters of International Affairs from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, where she studied human rights, and a Bachelor of Arts in Global Studies from the University of California, Los Angeles.

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Lindsey Reichlin Cruse, M.A.

Managing Director

Lindsey Reichlin is a Study Director at the Institute for...

Anne Mosle

Position: Vice President and Executive Director | Ascend at the Aspen Institute

Anne Mosle is a vice president and executive director of Ascend at the Aspen Institute and also serves as co-chair of the Aspen Institute Forum on Women and Girls. As a leader in building pathways to opportunity for children, women, and families with low incomes, her expertise is in the sweet spot of policy, practice, and philanthropy, and she has been a catalytic force in the two-generation approach and leadership strategies for child and family well-being. Among other roles, Mosle was previously a vice president and officer of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, where she led Family Economic Security, Civic and Philanthropic Engagement, and Impact Investing teams, and was president of the Washington Area Women’s Foundation. She serves on the board of American Public Human Services Association, Institute for Women’s Policy Research Institute as well as a trusted advisor to numerous public, private, and philanthropic efforts focused on creating intergenerational economic mobility.

Anne Mosle

Vice President and Executive Director | Ascend at the Aspen Institute


Darrick Hamilton

Position: Executive Director

Darrick Hamilton is the Henry Cohen Professor of Economics and Urban Policy at the New School. He is the former Executive Director of the Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity at The Ohio State University. In addition, Professor Hamilton holds a primary faculty appointment in the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, with courtesy appointments in the departments of economics and sociology in the College of Arts and Sciences. Professor Hamilton is a pioneer and internationally recognized scholar in the field of stratification economics, which fuses social science methods to examine the causes, consequences and remedies of racial, gender, ethnic, tribal, nativity, etc. inequality in education, economic and health outcomes. This work involves crafting and implementing innovative routes and policies that break down social hierarchy, empower people, and move society towards greater equity, inclusion, and civic participation.

Darrick Hamilton

Executive Director


Nadia Allaudin

Position: Senior Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor
Organization: Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management

Nadia Allaudin is a Senior Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor with Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management in Century City. She has been the recipient of numerous distinguished awards including Forbes’ “America’s Top Women Wealth Advisors” list in 2020 and Working Mother/Shook Research’s “Top Wealth Advisor Moms” list in 2019.

With more than 20 years of in-depth experience in the financial services industry, Nadia focuses on empowering women and the LBGTQI community to better understand their wealth management needs. She enjoys exploring clients’ relationship to money and assisting them with their financial concerns.

Having founded the annual Women, Wealth & Wisdom Conference in Los Angeles that brings together hundreds of professional women, Nadia works to foster deeper relationships and participate in discussions with renowned speakers on health/wellness, leadership and spiritual best practices. In appreciation of her efforts, she was awarded the prestigious Bank of America Diversity & Inclusion Recognition award.

Nadia earned her Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Business Administration with a dual emphasis in Finance and Business Communication from the Marshall School of Business at the University of Southern California.

Nadia Allaudin

Senior Vice President and Wealth Management Advisor


Paula Sammons

Position: Program Officer

Paula Sammons is program officer at the W.K. Kellogg Foundation in Battle Creek, Michigan with expertise in Family Economic Security. She has over 25 years of experience in philanthropy, with the majority of her career focused in family economic security. She is currently leading a portfolio of $53 million.

Paula has led multiple national family-centered programmatic and policy change initiatives, including “A Whole Family Approach to Jobs,” “Parents and Children Thriving Together,” and “Supporting Transitions to Employment for Parents.” She also led the development of family-centered coaching, a trauma informed coaching toolkit based in the latest brain research and behavioral economics that is being scaled across the country. Additionally, she was also co-chair of the Working Families Success Network. She is a licensed masters social worker by training with 7 years’ experience in counseling and therapy.

Earlier, Paula worked in various sectors including the banking industry, secondary education, higher education, retail sales, and nonprofits. She currently serves on the Children, Youth, and Families Funders Roundtable, as well as previously on Workforce Matters, Economic Opportunity Funders, and the Earned Income Tax Funders Network. She has over 15 years serving on boards.

Paula Sammons

Program Officer