Staff

Our committed, passionate staff bring far-reaching, interdisciplinary expertise to a broad range of policy issues all with one common goal: to inform policy, inspire change, and improve the lives of women, families, and communities. IWPR’s staff members have training in economics, sociology, psychology, international development, theology, public policy, and women’s studies, enabling us to utilize multi-disciplinary approaches to research.

Staff Directory

Executive Leadership

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.

President & CEO

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.

Ready Cynthia’s publications

Chief Operating Officer

William Lutz

Position: Vice President of Communications and External Affairs

William Lutz brings over two decades of strategic nonprofit communications experience to his role as Vice President of Communications and External Affairs for IWPR. He oversees IWPR’s media relations, digital, web and publications teams and, as a member of the executive leadership team, works closely with all departments to develop and implement effective strategic communications plans to elevate IWPR’s ongoing research, education, and advocacy programs.

Mr. Lutz’s entire career has been dedicated to nonprofit and social justice causes. Before joining IWPR, Mr. Lutz worked at the American Constitution Society on rule of law and racial and gender equality issues. Before that, he served as Senior Director of Communications at Families USA during the successful 2017 national campaign to block repeal of the Affordable Care Act. And prior to that, Mr. Lutz worked at Defenders of Wildlife, where he served in a dual capacity as Senior Director of Communications, overseeing all aspects of the organization’s strategic communications activities, and as Senior Director of the Defenders of Wildlife Action Fund, the organizations’ political arm, where he managed all electoral, legislative and ballot initiative campaigns. Mr. Lutz began his career as a Press Secretary and ultimately Communications Director for NARAL Pro-choice America and has worked for several political direct mail and public relations/polling firms, including MSHC Partners and GMMB.

Mr. Lutz is a native New Yorker, a graduate of the George Washington University, and resides in VA with his wife, two daughters, and six cats. He enjoys pina coladas and getting caught in the rain.

Vice President of Communications and External Affairs

Office of the President

Erin Weber, M.P.A.

Position: Manager, Office of the President and Board Liaison
During her graduate studies, Erin worked as a campaign assistant for international advocacy coalition groups. After moving to D.C, she served her AmeriCorps year at a D.C. public school before joining the U.S. Public Interest Research Group’s New Economy Program as the Communications Director and Campaigns Associate. At U.S. PIRG, she coordinated state and federal advocacy campaigns that sought to redefine traditional definitions of work and provide basic needs to low income individuals.
Erin received her B.A. in politics from New York University and her M.P.A from NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School for Public Service.

Erin Weber, M.P.A.

During her graduate studies, Erin worked as a campaign assistant for international...

Manager, Office of the President and Board Liaison

Operations

Isaac M. Mintz

Position: Senior Director of Finance

Isaac M. Mintz brings over 19 years of nonprofit experience to his role of Senior Director of Finance for the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. Isaac oversees the finance and accounting functions to help support and execute the overall mission of IWPR.

Isaac’s career has been dedicated to social justice issues. He is an innovator in growth and expansion strategy and has proven his ability to challenge, change, and better existing processes, procedures, and systems.

Isaac received his B.S in Accounting and Information Systems from High Point University. He also has a Masters, cum laude, with a concentration in Accounting and a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in Information Technology and Business Management.  Isaac has his CMA Certification and is a candidate for the Uniform CPA Examination.

In previous positions, Isaac has served as accounting manager, staff accountant, senior controller, and chief financial officer. In these various roles, he has gained the vital knowledge of how to grow any organization through strategic planning and financial management.

 

Isaac M. Mintz

Isaac M. Mintz brings over 19 years of nonprofit experience...

Senior Director of Finance

Sophia Ladner

Position: Bookkeeper and Special Assistant to the COO

Sophia has 4+ years of experience in the nonprofit and operations fields. Prior to her time at IWPR, she was in the field of international education, where she worked as an Operations Coordinator for the Fulbright Program. Within this role, she assisted with scholarships, research grants, and student exchange programs, where she coordinated grant disbursement and scheduling across a variety of Fulbright sub-programs. She is passionate about working with scholars and researchers who pursue knowledge from a variety of world views, and the large-scale change that their work can bring. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Sociology at Smith College, with an additional major in the study of Women and Gender, where her studies focused on international perspectives of women’s issues, specifically experiences of LGBTQ parents in the Netherlands, with a separate focus on the migration of female domestic care workers as part of the Global Care Chain.

Sophia Ladner

Sophia has 4+ years of experience in the nonprofit and...

Bookkeeper and Special Assistant to the COO

Economic, Security, Mobility and  Equity (ESME)

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.

Read Jeff’s Publications

Jeff Hayes, Ph.D.

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

Program Director, Job Quality and Income Security

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.

Read Ariane’s publications

Ariane Hegewisch, M.Phil.

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

Program Director, Employment and Earnings

Shengwei Sun, Ph.D.

Position: Senior Research Associate

Shengwei Sun is a Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research and works on research related to job quality, labor market inequalities, and the care economy. At IWPR, Shengwei authored a series of policy briefs on how young women and young parents have been faring in the pandemic recession with an intersectional lens. She also co-authored a brief on the effectiveness of state-level pay transparency laws in the U.S. Her work has been cited by The New York Times, Forbes, and Marketplace, among others.

Prior to joining IWPR, Shengwei was a postdoctoral fellow at the Washington University in St. Louis where she studied pay secrecy practices in the contemporary workplace and taught undergraduate statistics. She received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Maryland, College Park. Her academic research has investigated the consequences of economic downturns for young adults in both work and family arenas; who can access the “good” jobs in the growing care work sector; and changing dynamics of gender inequality in China.

 

Shengwei Sun, Ph.D.

Shengwei Sun is a Senior Research Associate at the Institute...

Senior Research Associate

Eve Mefferd

Position: Research Assistant

Eve Mefferd is a Research Assistant for Employment and Earnings at IWPR.

Eve served as an Intern at IWPR in 2019, during which time she assisted in the production of IWPR’s report, “Women, Automation, and the Future of Work.” Prior to her work with IWPR, Eve was employed as a Research Assistant at Bennington College. Her work with Deborah M. Warnock, focusing on the predictors of belonging and integration of first generation, low-income, and working class college students, was accepted for panel presentation at the 2020 American Sociological Association conference. Eve was also sponsored by the Lumina Foundation for a project on work integrated learning in higher education.

Eve received her Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and Public Policy from Bennington College, with a focus on socioeconomic class, housing, and educational policy. She has also received a certificate in Public Policy Analysis from the London School of Economics. Her senior thesis, a qualitative and quantitative analysis of the impact of gentrification on educational outcomes in Los Angeles, was selected for presentation at the 2020 ASA Student Forum. Eve served as President of the Student Educational Policies Committee at Bennington College, and is a 2020 American Sociological Association honors recipient.

Eve Mefferd

Eve Mefferd is a Research Assistant for Employment and Earnings...

Research Assistant

Student Parent Success Initiative

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.

Read Lindsey’s publications

Lindsey Reichlin Cruse, M.A.

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

Managing Director

Chaunté White, Ph.D.

Position: Senior Research Associate

Chaunté White is a Senior Research Associate at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research, working with the Student Parent Success Initiative (SPSI). At IWPR, Chaunté will contribute to research and policy analysis focused on higher education access, success, and educational attainment for students with children.

Prior to joining IWPR, Chaunté was a postdoctoral research fellow in the Department of Educational Leadership & Policy Studies in the College of Education at the University of Houston. Her research interests are broadly centered around the study of racial and gender equity issues, educational policy, and organizational leadership. She uses multiple methods to examine various topics related to educational attainment, particularly among Black student populations, as well as how policies at institutional, state, and federal levels affect education-related outcomes. Her dissertation examined the policy development processes of campus leaders who implemented a 15 to Finish modeled student success initiative and the impact of the program on Black student degree completion.

She earned her PhD from the University of Houston’s Higher Education Leadership Policy Studies Program. She holds a masters degree in Higher Education Leadership from the University of Texas at Arlington and a bachelors degree in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin.

Chaunté White, Ph.D.

Chaunté White is a Senior Research Associate at the Institute...

Senior Research Associate

Felicity Hector-Bruder

Position: Student Parent Success Initiative Summer Intern

Felicity Hector-Bruder is a Research intern with the Student Parent Success Initiative (SPSI). Felicity is currently in her junior year at American University, studying Data Science for Political Science in the Honors Program. Prior to joining IWPR, she was a Policy & Advocacy Intern with Generation Hope, where she researched the main hurdles facing student parents. After graduation she hopes to continue policy work and pursue an MPA or PhD. On campus she is on the Mock Trial team and writes for the Law Journal.

 

Felicity Hector-Bruder

Felicity Hector-Bruder is a Research intern with the Student Parent...

Student Parent Success Initiative Summer Intern

Maureen Coffey

Position: Research Associate, Student Parent Success Initiative

Maureen Coffey joins IWPR as a research associate on the Student Parent Success Initiative (SPSI). She will work on two-generation approaches to promoting women’s education and workforce equity. Her research interests are centered around understanding and supporting the economic needs of families.

Prior to IWPR, Maureen worked on the Study of Early Education through Partnerships (SEE-Partnerships) at the University of Virginia School of Education and Human Development. Her work at the University of Virginia focused on access to high-quality early education, specifically studying the early childhood workforce. Additionally, Maureen’s past research experience with the American Public Human Services Association (APHSA) examined the relationship between family economic stability and child well-being. The project connected recent high interest policies, such as the Child Tax Credit and universal child care, to decreases in child maltreatment among the youngest and most vulnerable children. Maureen has a Master of Public Policy (MPP) from the Batten School at the University of Virginia and received her bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College with Honors in Economics and a secondary major in politics.

Maureen Coffey

Maureen Coffey joins IWPR as a research associate on the...

Research Associate, Student Parent Success Initiative

Development

Ryan Koch, M.S.

Position: Senior Director of Grants and Contracts

Ryan Koch joined IWPR in 2007 as the Development Director. He earned his MS in Social Work from the University of Texas at Austin and as an undergraduate at Virginia Tech he majored in Political Science with a minor in Sociology. His area of study and interest has been and remains focused on issues of race, class and gender. Ryan comes to the IWPR after several years successfully writing grant proposals for the City of Memphis Division of Housing and Community Development and the Memphis Housing Authority. He spent most of his time working with the Housing Authority’s Humans Services programs and the City’s homeless Continuum of Care. Ryan is responsible for ensuring the Development Department runs smoothly and is excited about helping IWPR identify new funding opportunities and expanding its support.

Ryan Koch, M.S.

Ryan Koch joined IWPR in 2007 as the Development Director....

Senior Director of Grants and Contracts

External Affairs and Communications

Jodi Narde

Position: Director of Content and Publications

Jodi Narde is the Director of Content and Publications at the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. In this role, she oversees the digital and print publications pipeline, stewarding products to final launch. She also provides close editorial and writing support to IWPR’s research team.

Prior to IWPR, Jodi led strategic communications at the Aga Khan Foundation USA, where she oversaw a robust portfolio of communications and spearheaded engagement campaigns to promote AKF’s work in Africa and Asia. During her time at AKF, she sharpened the organization’s brand voice, established key messaging and editorial style guidelines, and trained staff on inclusive storytelling.

Jodi also brings over eight years of experience in academic publishing. She served as a freelance copyeditor; directed the digital marketing program at New York University Press; and worked as an assistant editor at Oxford University Press.

Jodi holds a Master of Public Administration degree in international policy from New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and a Bachelor of Arts in Creative Writing from Tulane University in New Orleans, Louisiana.

 

Jodi Narde

Jodi Narde is the Director of Content and Publications at...

Director of Content and Publications

Research and Action Hub

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.

Publications:

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.

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

Senior Fellow, Director of the Foreign Policy Initiative

Kennedy Andara

Position: Research Intern

Kennedy Andara is the fall intern for IWPR’s Status of Women in the States project. She is a current MA candidate at American University, pursuing a degree in Public Policy with concentrations in social policy and gendered economics. Prior to IWPR, she was an Economic Justice Advocate at The National Partnership for Women & Families. Kennedy is passionate about women’s experiences in the labor market, as well as the intersection between poverty and gender. In her spare time, she is an avid reader of feminist literature and a mother to her cat Olive.

Kennedy Andara

Kennedy Andara is the fall intern for IWPR’s Status of...

Research Intern

IWPR Fellows

Georgia Poyatzis

Position: 2021-2022 American University Fellow

Georgia Poyatzis is the Graduate Fellow in Gender Policy Analysis in Economics and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Economics at American University. Her current research concerns gender and labor with an emphasis on the effect of alternative work arrangements on female labor force participation and wages. She is co-author with Professor Maria S. Floro of American University of a book chapter “Climate Change, Natural Disasters and the Spillover Effects on Unpaid Care: The Case of Super-Typhoon Haiyan” which aims to quantify the normally overlooked increase in the burden of care in the aftermath of natural disasters.

Georgia Poyatzis

Georgia Poyatzis is the Graduate Fellow in Gender Policy Analysis...

2021-2022 American University Fellow

Elizabeth Snyder

Position: 2021-2022 Mariam K. Chamberlain Fellow

Elizabeth Snyder is the 2021 Mariam K. Chamberlain Fellow. She graduated from William & Mary in December of 2020 with a B.A. in Sociology. During her time at William & Mary, Elizabeth lead a student group promoting reproductive justice. She also completed multiple research projects, including a qualitative analysis of women’s lived experiences with healthcare workers. Elizabeth is interested in access to reproductive care across gender identities, the intersection between gender and environmental justice, and food systems as a means of achieving gender equity.

Elizabeth Snyder

Elizabeth Snyder is the 2021 Mariam K. Chamberlain Fellow. She...

2021-2022 Mariam K. Chamberlain Fellow