Photo of a small group gathered outdoors


Working toward a more equitable economy takes skill, empathy, time, and a lot of heart. Here, members of the Fed’s Community Development team share what inspires and motivates them.
I work to identify the economic barriers to community resilience and create solutions to meet the needs of low-wealth and underserved throughout the Southeast.
Dontá Council Atlanta Fed
Dontá Council
Donta Council at the White House
Ashley Putnam
Ashley Putnam speaking at a Philadelphia Fed Event
There is a reason the Fed does this work. The reason we talk about economic mobility is because it’s important for economic growth. And it’s really important for good, inclusive, and resilient economies.
Ashley Putnam, Philadelphia Fed
My role is very much about relationships, people, and community. I work to give a voice to Indian Country. It has long been missing in terms of financial and economic data, and financial inclusion.
Heather Sobrepena,  Minneapolis Fed
Heather Sobrepena
Heather Sobrepena and her family members
Steve Howland
I’m trying to better understand which low- and moderate-income populations are in a more stable situation and how they got there. What can we do to expand those types of opportunities?
Steven Howland, Kansas City Fed
I’m always learning. The diversity of our District at the New York Fed, coupled with the diversity of the topics, keeps the work fresh.
Tony Davis,  New York Fed
Tony Davis
Tony Davis sightseeing in the mountains of Rio de Janeiro
Tracy Choi
April 2023 trip to South Korea visiting relatives and friends
We ‘set the table’ in our communities by focusing on how we can create a safe and neutral environment where people feel included to discuss issues that affect them.
Tracy Choi,  San Francisco Fed
I am motivated by the untapped potential of people in our communities and the heroic efforts of individuals and organizations to unlock that potential.
Mike Eggleston St. Louis Fed
Mike Eggleston
Mike Eggleston, St. Louis Fed
Woman holding a dog
I focus most on how we can build on or add to research practices where we make sure to get how the economy is playing out in people’s everyday lives.
Julie Siwicki Atlanta Fed
Coming to the Fed was an opportunity to translate research and make language accessible so practitioners could understand it and run with it.
Gar Kelley,  Chicago Fed
Gar Kelley giving a speech at his daughter's wedding
Gar Kelley cruising on his bike along the Chicago Lakefront Trail
Marycruz De Leon
Marycruz hiking in Monte Alban, Oaxaca, Mexico
I love that I get to meet individuals who are passionate about helping their communities. It energizes me to watch and experience the good happening in our world.
Marycruz De León Dallas Fed
I was thrilled to find that my love for data, statistics, and social sciences could be combined in a way that had a social impact.
Alaina Barca,  Philadelphia Fed
Alaina Barca
Alaina Barca
Charly at the grand opening of the Enterprising Latina’s Wimauma Opportunity Center
Atlanta Fed Tampa and St. Petersburg visit, July 13, 2022
Through my professional experiences, it has become clear just how important it is to share the voices of real people with policy makers to help inform their decision-making.
Charly van Dijk,  Atlanta Fed
Partnerships can make credit more accessible and, in turn, small businesses—and the families and communities they support—more successful.
Maria Thompson,  f. Federal Reserve Small Business Credit Survey
Maria Thompson
Casey Lozar speaks at the National Reservation Economic Summit
Casey Lozar and Fawn Sharp
We want our work to help tear down systemic barriers that have disproportionally affected Indian people, who are often invisible to the larger population.
Casey Lozar, Center for Indian Country Development
We needed a regional strategy to strengthen our community development work, rather than everyone working in our own siloed spaces.
Neelu Panth,  St. Louis Fed
Neelu Panth
Neelu Panth speaks at Investment Connection event
Samantha Evans Headshot
Samantha Evans at Future of Workforce Conference
People don’t see each other as rivals. They are people working to serve the families in their communities, and they want to know what the Fed can do to help them.
Sam Evans,  St. Louis Fed
I really wanted to get more experience on the ground, working directly with people and understanding and supporting the goals they’re looking to achieve.
Edison Reyes,  New York Fed
Edison Reyes Portrait
Edison Reyes stands by shoreline with blue skies overhead
Bonnie Blankenship
Bonnie Blankenship
I feel extremely blessed to work with a lot of smart people with a depth of knowledge in small business, workforce development, and housing, all with a lens to help communities.
Bonnie Blankenship,  Cleveland Fed
In either data analytics or journalism, we’re trying to tell a story.
Lucas Misera, Cleveland Fed
Lucas Misera
Lucas Misera outside NPR station
Vijay Palaparty
Being neighbors means knowing you are valued, in whatever forms that takes.
Vijay Palaparty, Board of Governors
It’s like we have two Bay Areas: one where people have opportunities, and one where people are working hard to get ahead, but economic, social, and educational systems are failing them.
Bina Shrimali, San Francisco Fed
Bina Shrimali
Bina Shrimali
Maude Toussaint Comeau
Photo of Maude in front of a store
The connections with the people are what drives the research questions. Some things you cannot find in the data but can understand only through conversation.
Maude Toussaint-Comeau, Chicago Fed
We couldn’t control what the government was doing to us, but we can control how we treat each other.
Marija Bingulac, Boston Fed
Marija Bingulac
Photo of Marija and her dog on the Boston waterfront
Andrew Dumont
Shining a light on inequities that prevent people from reaching their full potential—I feel blessed that I get to do that every day.
Andrew Dumont, Board of Governors
Turning our backs on young children costs a lot. If we invest in those resources early, there’s a strong public return.
Rob Grunewald, f. Minneapolis Fed
Rob Grunewald
Photo of Rob Grunewald lecturing
Dell Gines
Dell Gines
Academically, I was in the top 10 percent of African American students in the nation. Not one time was I told anything about owning a business, owning a house, owning stock.
Dell Gines, f. Kansas City Fed
I have to bridge the two worlds. What I’ve learned from both I try to share and exchange.
Tiffany Hollin Wright. f. Richmond Fed