Tax Policy Center

Donnie Charleston

Director, State and Local Fiscal Policy Engagement

Government officials are in tremendous need of actionable information, tools, and data. I’ve personally witnessed the magic of policy change brought about by informative tools and strategies. My passion is with finding new and better ways of building the tools to enhance the policymaking process and thereby improve the lives of Americans.


Donnie Charleston is director of state and local fiscal policy engagement at the Urban Institute. His work focuses on translating research for decisionmakers and translating the needs and priorities of state policymakers for Urban’s researchers, especially for Urban’s State and Local Finance Initiative. This program helps state and local policymakers improve their budget processes to meet the challenges of today’s economy. Charleston also works with other Urban initiatives as the organization seeks to innovate its engagement protocols and approaches.

Charleston has extensive experience in state and local government. He previously worked in the North Carolina legislature and with local government agencies, including the North Carolina Association of Counties. On the research front, he was the assistant director for a university research institute and an economic policy manager at the North Carolina State University Institute for Emerging Issues. He is a seasoned professional with extensive policy and research expertise in government and service systems reform initiatives. Charleston holds bachelor’s degrees in sociology and psychology and a master’s degree in sociology. His doctoral work at North Carolina State University focused on economic sociology and industrial and organizational sociology.

From TaxVox