Remy Trupin, Executive Director
Remy is the founding executive director of the Budget & Policy Center. He leads the strategic direction of the organization, acts as primary spokesperson, and works with the Board of Directors and community partners to implement our vision and mission.
Remy’s experience includes serving as the Government Affairs Director for the Jewish Federation of Greater Seattle and also as legislative consultant to United Way of King County. In addition, Remy has a diverse array of public policy experience, including working for the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Washington, DC, and researching programs and strategies to improve health outcomes for children at the Urban Health Initiative.
Remy has been named to several budget advisory groups by previous gubernatorial administrations, is active in the community, and is an American Marshall Memorial Fellow of the German Marshall Fund. Remy’s undergraduate and graduate degrees are from the University of Washington; a B.A. in political science and a M.P.A. from the Evans School of Public Affairs.
Emiko Blalock, Office Manager
Emiko keeps the Budget & Policy Center office running smoothly. She supports the development, communications, and outreach efforts of the organization. Prior to joining the Budget & Policy Center, Emiko led the work of resource development at Forterra (formerly Cascade Land Conservancy) and Seattle Audubon, focusing on donor engagement, communications, and strategic fundraising.
A native of the Northwest, Emiko enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, and gardening in her p-patch. She can also be found birding around the city parks of Seattle. Emiko has a Master’s degree in not-for-profit leadership from Seattle University.
Contact: emikob(at)budgetandpolicy (dot)org
Yu-Ling Chang, Extern
Yu-Ling joins the Budget & Policy Center an extern with the West Coast Poverty Center. She is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Social Welfare at the University of Washington.
Prior to her study at UW, Yu-Ling worked as a social worker in Department of Social Welfare of Taipei City Government in Taiwan. She has extensive experience working with low-income families and communities. Her research focuses on poverty and income inequality, social safety net programs, and work supports. She is currently participating in a research project that investigates how multiple income support programs respond to the Great Recession and the effects on working families’ economic security.
Jennifer Cohen, Director of Development and Operations
Jennifer is responsible for fund development, finances, human resources and work with our Board of Directors. She joins the Budget & Policy Center from the University of Washington where she served as Assistant Director for an academic program.
Prior to her time at U.W., Jennifer worked in development, marketing, planning and evaluation for Jewish Family Service. She has over 15 years of experience with fundraising in the Puget Sound region. Jennifer holds a Master’s degree in not-for-profit leadership from Seattle University and a B.A. in journalism/public relations from the University of Oregon.
Elena Hernandez, Research Assistant
Elena provides research support to the policy team. She is currently a graduate student at the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington.
She was our 2012- 2013 Betty Jane Narver Fellow, and interned at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities in Washington D.C.
Elena has also worked at the Genomics Outreach for Minorities Project (GenOm) at the University of Washington.
Kim Justice, Senior Budget Analyst
Kim conducts research and analysis on the state budget. She has worked in Washington state politics since 2001, as a campaign staffer for Democratic legislative and congressional races, a community organizer for labor and progressive organizations, and a lobbyist for policies that benefit people with low incomes.
Prior to joining the Budget & Policy Center, Kim was a Policy Analyst for the House Democratic Caucus where she staffed the House Committee on Community, Economic Development and Trade and the House Appropriations Committee on Health and Human Services.
Tara Lee, Communications Director
Tara is responsible for media relations, marketing, and messaging. Prior to joining the Budget & Policy Center, Tara led the public policy and marketing efforts at the Washington Dental Service Foundation where she worked with the state legislature and community partners to support public health initiatives.
Tara served as Interim Director at HomeStep, which provides transitional housing and worked at the University of Washington Women’s Center. She began her career working for four years on political campaigns in California. Tara's first communications job was writing obituaries for the Bellingham Herald.
She has a B.A. in history from Western Washington University and a M.P.A. from Seattle University.
Andrew Nicholas, Senior Fiscal Analyst
Andy specializes in state tax and revenue systems. Since joining the Budget & Policy Center in 2009 he has served on a Legislative Task Force on Tax Preference Reform and has conducted numerous analyses of Washington’s tax structure.
Andy worked at the DC-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities (CBPP), where he performed extensive research on state fiscal policy. Additionally, Andy taught English in China. He holds a Master of Public Policy from American University’s School of Public Affairs.
Jillian Pennyman, Narver Fellow
Jillian is our 2013- 2014 Betty Jane Narver Fellow. She is pursuing her second Master's in Education degree through the Educational Leadership and Policy Studies program at the University of Washington. Prior to her acceptance to U.W., Jillian graduated with both a B.S. and M.Ed. from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga.
After graduating with her first master’s degree she worked as both a Researcher and Program Coordinator for the Post-secondary Awareness With Success program under the Center for Community Career Education (CCCE) at UT-Chattanooga.
The Betty Jane Narver Fellowship was created to increase the number of diverse voice in public policy.
Contact: jillianp (at) budgetandpolicy (dot) org
Lori Pfingst, Ph.D., Research Director
Lori manages the research team’s work on developing solutions for rebuilding prosperity, and is the lead researcher on the Progress Index and KIDS COUNT in Washington – our primary tools to measure the well-being of Washingtonians.
She received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Washington in 2010 and has 15 years’ experience conducting social research and policy analysis.
Prior to joining the Budget & Policy Center, Lori was a Research Scientist with Public Health – Seattle/King County, and also served as the Assistant Director of Washington KIDS COUNT in the University of Washington’s Evans School of Public Affairs. Her current and past research covers a broad range of areas, including criminology, health, poverty, income inequality, epidemiology, and racial equity.
Ben Secord, Outreach Manager
Ben works with community organizations, decision makers, and partners to expand the reach of our research and analysis.
Ben led the legislative outreach program at Progressive States Network (PSN), where he was responsible for developing and implementing strategies to grow the legislative network; including organizing an annual retreat and playing a lead role in the organizations program to support and build progressive caucuses in the states.
Ben has more than seven years of experience in progressive policy and advocacy organizations, including previous outreach work for the Budget & Policy Center. He has a B.A. from Whitman College.