Dr. LaDonna Pavetti is a Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. She is recognized nationally as a leading expert on the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) program. Her work at the Center has focused on expanding the Center’s analytic work to document how TANF is being implemented in the states and supporting a network of advocates working to improve state TANF programs. Her current work is focused on working with state advocates and program administrators to move TANF work programs in an antiracist and trauma-informed direction.
Before joining the Center in 2009, Dr. Pavetti spent 12 years as a researcher at Mathematica Policy Research, Inc., where she directed numerous research projects examining various aspects of TANF implementation and strategies to address the needs of people whose aspirations to create a better life for their families are negatively impacted by significant labor market limitations. She has also served as a researcher at the Urban Institute, a consultant to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on safety net issues, and a policy analyst for the District of Columbia’s Commission on Social Services. In addition, for several years she was a social worker in Chicago and Washington, D.C.
Dr. Pavetti has an A.M. in Social Work from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in Public Policy from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.