Outreach & Education’s Visiting Scholars Program

Visiting scholars are selected from the community development and education fields to enrich the New York Fed’s outreach and education programs.

Audrey Choi: Sustainable Finance Expert

Audrey Choi is a pioneer in the fields of corporate sustainability and sustainable finance. Her career has spanned the highest levels of finance, government and journalism, as a C-suite officer at Morgan Stanley, chief of staff of the White House Council of Economic Advisers and as bureau chief and foreign correspondent for The Wall Street Journal.

Choi was the first Chief Sustainability Officer (CSO) on Wall Street. A trailblazer for sustainable investing, she proposed and founded the Morgan Stanley Global Sustainable Finance Group in 2009 and the Institute for Sustainable Investing in 2013. As CSO, she spearheaded the firm's groundbreaking Plastic Waste Resolution and the Sustainable Solutions Collaborative to scale breakthrough innovations to drive systemic change.

Choi also founded the firm's Community Development Finance Group in 2009 and led it for 10 years, investing more than $20 billion to strengthen low-income communities. Through targeted strategic partnerships with philanthropy and public policy, these investments were able to help catalyze the creation of more than 100,000 units of quality affordable housing integrated with access to affordable health care, equitable transit, and fresh and healthy food.

Choi graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Business School. She was a White House Fellow, Fulbright Scholar and David Rockefeller Fellow.

Areas of Interest: Innovative and Sustainable Financing.

Area of Engagement/Research: To examine strategies that can provide insight and best practices for systems change and scaling solutions in LMI communities.

Tenure: Through September 2024

Stephen DeBerry: Impact Investing Expert

Stephen DeBerry uses culture and the economy to build a more just and joyful society. He is the Founder of BRONZE, a leading US venture capital fund that invests to move social, economic, and environmental disparity to prosperity.

Before becoming an investor, Stephen was a champion athlete. He is a former USA national track and field champion (400 meter hurdles) and a member of the first African-American mountaineering team to ascend Denali, the highest mountain in North America.

Stephen has served the broader community through local grassroots organizations to boards of multibillion dollar foundations and corporations. He earned a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology with highest honors from UCLA as well as Master’s in Social Anthropology and MBA degrees from The University of Oxford. Stephen is a British Marshall Scholar and Henry Crown Fellow at the Aspen Institute and has been recognized for his community engagement by the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts.

Areas of Interest: Innovative Financing

Area of Engagement/Research: To examine strategies that can accelerate financial innovations and support economic prosperity in communities.

Tenure: Through December 2024

Hanaa A. Hamdi: Public Health Expert

Hanaa A. Hamdi, Ph.D., is a system entrepreneur working to improve the health of people and communities. With more than two decades of research, practice and policy making, Dr. Hamdi has dedicated her career to advancing health equity among Black, Indigenous and other people of color, with a particular focus on women and children.

Most recently, Dr. Hamdi directed NJ Community Capital’s Health Impact Investment & Partnership Strategies Initiative, where she developed NJCC’s emerging community health investment and development strategies with regional and national health-focused partners, supporting the organization’s holistic approach to neighborhood revitalization. Hanaa is a board member of Children and Nature Network and investment committee member of Potlikker Capital Fund, a charitable loan fund dedicated to investing and advocating for BIPOC farmers.

Hanaa holds a joint Ph.D. in Public Health and Environmental Design from Rutgers University and New Jersey Institute of Technology.

Areas of Interest: Food Systems, Public Health, and Community Development Finance.

Area of Engagement/Research: To examine strategies that can leverage blended financing (bank CRA, healthcare Community Benefit, and anchor strategies) to build economic resilience among BIPOC farmers.

Tenure: Through July 2024

Related Publications:
Hamdi, H. Access to Fresh, Affordable Food: A Basic Feature of Healthy Communities
The Fresh Fruits and Vegetables Doctor
Franck, J; Hamdi, H: Food Justice by R. Gottlieb and A. Joshi. Environmental Ethics (2013) 35 (1);127-138

Andrea Levere: Asset-Building and Financial Sustainability Expert

Andrea Levere is the founder and CEO of Capitalize Good and a Social Enterprise Fellow at the Yale School of Management. In this role, Andrea drafted the Blueprint for Enterprise Capital to scale the delivery of “philanthropic equity” for nonprofits and social ventures to build financial strength and resilience and reduce the racial wealth gap in the nonprofit sector. She is working with the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation, Citi Foundation, California Wellness Foundation, William Julius Wilson Institute, and other partners to advance the practice of Enterprise Capital within philanthropy and the social sector.

She is President Emerita of Prosperity Now, an organization that designs and operates national initiatives to integrate financial capability services into systems serving low-income people, build assets and savings, close the racial wealth divide and advance research and policies to expand economy mobility for all. Under her leadership, Prosperity Now scaled matched savings accounts for adults and children with over 5 million children now benefiting from a Child Savings Account.

Areas of Interest: Advancing Enterprise Capital as a Philanthropic Asset Class

Area of Engagement/Research: To collect and examine financial data and social impacts generated through the investment of enterprise capital into nonprofits and social enterprises to demonstrate how this type of funding advances their missions and financial sustainability and identify partners who can assist building more robust data systems.

Tenure: Through December 2024

Related Publications: The Blueprint for Enterprise Capital; Making the Case for Enterprise Capital: One Nonprofit’s Path to Financial Sustainability and Increased Impact; If You’re Serious about Funding Real Change, You Need to Change the Way Your Fund (Yes, Again).

Clara Miller: Impact Investing and Sustainable Financing Expert

Clara Miller is President Emerita of the F.B. Heron Foundation and led the foundation in its goal of aligning 100 percent of an endowed foundation’s assets with its mission. Her work at the Heron Foundation was featured in a 2018 case study by Stanford Graduate School of Business, “The Heron Foundation: 100 Percent for Mission and Beyond.” Ms. Miller is a national leader in enterprise finance for the social sector, with contributions in diverse sectors, including community development, impact investing, grant making and sustainability accounting. Prior to her role at the F.B. Heron Foundation, she was Founder and President/CEO of the Nonprofit Finance Fund.

Ms. Miller previously worked at the New York Community Trust, the Southern Tier Central Planning and Development Board in Corning, NY and the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C. She received a bachelor’s degree in Studio Art from the University of New Hampshire in 1972, a Master’s in Regional Planning from Cornell University College of Architecture, Art, and Planning in 1977 and completed Columbia Graduate School of Business’ Institute for Nonprofit Management in 1984.

Areas of Interest: Exploring the Tenets of Community Finance

Area of Engagement/Research: To bridge community development finance and philanthropy, across sectors, businesses and investments, and further explore the intersections of community finance in the not-for-profit and for-profit sectors.

Tenure: Through March 2025

Related Publications: Economic Justice is Accounting Justice; It’s A False Dichotomy; A Revolution of Capital; Big League: Transforming the Capital Markets with Impact Rigor and Disclosure; Arriving at 100 Percent for Mission: Now What?; Hidden in Plain Sight: Understanding Capital Structure; The Looking-Glass World of Nonprofit Money: Managing in For-Profits’ Shadow Universe

Tyler Norris: Community Development Expert

Tyler Norris, M.Div., is a social entrepreneur and trusted advisor to philanthropies and partnerships working to improve the health of people and place. Most recently he served as the founding CEO of Well Being Trust, an impact philanthropy with a mission to advance the mental, social and spiritual health of the nation.

Tyler currently is Board Chair of Naropa University; co-Chair of the CEO Alliance for Mental Health; and a board member for Mindful Philanthropy, and the National Academies of Sciences' Child Well Being Forum.

Over the years he helped start Step Denver; facilitated the opening of the Abraham Path through the heart of the Middle East; and led the Kuhiston Foundation to help establish the national park system and micro-finance in Tajikistan.

Tyler is a graduate of Harvard Business School's Leadership Program, earned a Master of Divinity from Naropa University, and has a bachelor's in World Political Economy from Colorado College. Home is in Ketchum, Idaho and Oakland. California.

Areas of Interest: Health equity, CRA investments, social determinants of health

Working with the New York Fed: To investigate more effective leveraging of bank CRA investing, integrated with healthcare Community Benefit investing and application of anchor approaches, along with other community resources and structures to deliver sufficient dose for measurable impact at a population level.

Tenure: Through June 2024

Related Publications: www.wellbeingtrust.org

Michael Swack: Community Development Finance Expert

Michael Swack is a professor at the Carsey School of Public Policy at the University of New Hampshire, where he teaches and directs the Center for Impact Finance. At Carsey, he is working on building scale in the community development finance sector, innovations in community development finance, and sustainable energy financing. He also directs the Financial Innovations Roundtable, an annual gathering, now in its 25th year which brings together finance practitioners from around the country to discuss and develop strategies to grow the field of community development finance. He was the founder and former dean of the School of Community Economic Development (CED) at Southern New Hampshire University.

Michael was the first chairman and served for seventeen years as a board member of the New Hampshire Community Development Finance Authority (CDFA), a state-chartered equity fund for community economic development ventures and projects. He is the founding president and a current board member of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund. He was a founding board member of the National Association of Community Development Loan Funds (now the Opportunity Finance Network), a trade association of Community Development Finance Institutions.

Michael received his doctorate degree from Columbia University, his master’s degree from Harvard University, and his bachelor’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Areas of Interest: Community Development Finance.

Area of Engagement/Research: To examine strategies that can provide insight and best practices for implementing CDFI funds.

Tenure: Through August 2024

Selected Related Publications:
A Path to Conventional Equity for CDFIs
Charles Tansey, Michael Swack
Aligning Investments to Improve Population Health
Michael Swack, Sarah Boege, Kevin Barnett
CDFI Industry Analysis: Summary Report
Michael Swack, Jack Northrup, Eric Hangen
Capital Markets, CDFIs, and Organizational Credit Risk
Michael Swack, Charles Tansey, Vicky Stein, Michael Tansey

Previous Visiting Scholars

See our previous visiting scholars since the inception of the program in 2020.

Xavier de Souza Briggs
Nathaniel Counts
Penelope Douglas
Jody Hoff
Michael Loftin
Miguel A. Soto-Class
Maggie Super Church
David Dante Troutt
About the Visiting Scholars Program

Visiting scholars are university faculty, community development practitioners and researchers, think tank representatives, and/or senior leaders from foundations and nonprofit organizations.

They are selected to advise and collaborate with New York Fed staff on groundbreaking ideas, analytical products and programs. They present at internal seminars and conduct workshops on community development topics. While they provide staff with new research and updates from the community development and education fields, they also benefit from working and exchanging ideas with staff. Selection is on a rolling basis and placements are short-term.

CONTACT US to learn more about the Outreach & Education Visiting Scholars Program.

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