Tax Policy Center



Brett Theodos

Senior Fellow

Brett Theodos is a senior fellow and director of the Community Economic Development Hub at the Urban Institute. His work focuses on economic and community development, neighborhood change, affordable homeownership, consumer finance, and program evaluation and learning.

His research includes evaluations of the Economic Development Administration, New Markets Tax Credit, Small Business Administration loan and investment programs, Opportunity Zones, and the US Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Choice Neighborhoods, Community Development Block Grant, and Section 108 programs. He is studying how capital flows (or fails to flow) into communities, including the role of mission finance actors like community development financial institutions. He is leading a series of projects researching how entrepreneurs can access capital.

Theodos has conducted studies of neighborhood change and geographic mobility. He is evaluating several place-based initiatives. He has led multiple studies of affordable homeownership supports, including shared equity models like community land trusts. In the financial capability space, he has led studies of financial coaching, financial curriculum, and rules of thumb for decisionmaking. He has also explored the geography of debt.

Theodos is working to grow nonprofit capacity in performance measurement. He directs Measure4Change, which provides technical assistance and facilitates a community of practice for nonprofits. Relatedly, he has led three randomized controlled trial evaluations of youth workforce and education preparedness programs.

Theodos serves on the boards of the Center for Community Progress and the Douglass Community Land Trust.

Theodos received his BA from Northwestern University, his MPP from Georgetown University, and his PhD in public policy from the George Washington University.

From TaxVox