Center Staff

Sarah B. Hunter

Sarah B. Hunter

Director, Center on Housing and Homelessness in Los Angeles

Sarah B. Hunter (she/her) is a senior behavioral scientist, professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and director of the RAND Center on Housing and Homeless in Los Angeles (CHHLA). Over a decade ago, Sarah started working in the field of supportive housing for individuals experiencing homelessness as an evaluation consultant for Skid Row Housing Trust in downtown Los Angeles. Since that time, she led a report on LA County’s Housing for Health initiative that was featured in a number of media outlets, including the Los Angeles Times, the New York Times, National Public Radio’s “Marketplace,” the Christian Science Monitor, CurbedLA, and the Journal of the American Medical Association. Hunter is currently the principal investigator on a number of supportive housing evaluations, including LA County’s Jail In Reach Pay for Success initiative, which targets individuals in the criminal justice system, and an initiative operated by the Inland Empire Health Plan. She is also leading a longitudinal study of veterans experiencing homelessness in West Los Angeles to better understand service utilization and barriers to housing stability. Hunter is currently active in the Homelessness Policy Research Institute, a joint effort by University of Southern California, United Way Greater LA, and the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation. Hunter received her B.A. from New York University and her M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of California at Santa Barbara.

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Jason M. Ward

Jason M. Ward

Associate Director, RAND Center on Housing and Homelessness in Los Angeles

Jason Ward is an associate economist at the RAND Corporation, associate director of the RAND Center for Housing and Homelessness in Los Angeles, and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. His work uses the tools of applied microeconomics to study housing, labor markets, education, health, and links between these domains. His research has assessed the effect of four-day school weeks on parental employment and child achievement, the effect of parental involvement laws on abortions to minors, the effects of performance-based state higher education funding systems on student outcomes, the nature of geographic variation in health care utilization, and the association between education and health over the life course. Current projects include a study assessing the potential for the adaptive reuse of commercial real estate to address the housing crisis in Los Angeles, a study estimating the willingness to pay (in home price) for multiple measures of elementary school quality in the Los Angeles Unified School District, a study documenting changes in veterans labor market, educational, and health outcomes over recent decades, and a study documenting the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on non-response patterns in the Current Population Survey.

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Marylou Gilbert

Marylou Gilbert

Coordinator, RAND Center on Housing and Homelessness in Los Angeles

Marylou Gilbert is a senior policy analyst with extensive background in community-based and community-partnered recruitment, engagement and field research, particularly in the greater Los Angeles area. She has experience with a variety of field methods, including structured survey methodology, semi-structured executive and other interviews, and focus groups as well as qualitative case studies and ethnographies, through a number of community-driven projects at RAND, such as implementation and intervention studies providing technical assistance to Boys & Girls Clubs, teaching and training an adolescent and young adult substance use curriculum, conducting parent workshops, conducting network analysis of homeless individuals, collaborative linkages for drug court programs, services for homeless adults with alcohol and drug problems, syringe exchange and HIV prevention programs, and classroom culture in middle schools. Previously, she has worked at UCLA, USC, NORC, Westat, and Abt Associates on several research projects related to homelessness, HIV issues, tobacco policies, substance use, maternal and child health, law, and child development. She is also a certified AIDS counselor for injection drug users, and worked for over 5 years as a clinical social worker in downtown Los Angeles. Gilbert is also bi-lingual in English and Spanish. She received her J.D. in health law, M.A. in Latin American studies and public health from UCLA, and B.S.W. in Chicano studies and social welfare from UC Berkeley.

Tiffany Hruby

Administrative Assistant, RAND Center on Housing and Homelessness in Los Angeles

Tiffany Hruby is an administrative assistant supporting multiple researchers whose work focuses on treating substance abuse in primary care, examining the quality of care for veterans, and addressing homelessness. She is a third-generation RANDite, and a proud mom.

Max Griswold

Max Griswold

Assistant Policy Researcher, RAND; Ph.D. Candidate, Pardee RAND Graduate School

Max Griswold is a policy researcher at RAND and a Ph.D. candidate at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. His research is focused on behavioral risk factors in epidemiology and policy, with a particular emphasis on alcohol use, substance use, gun violence, and high body-mass index.

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Stephanie Brooks Holliday

Stephanie Brooks Holliday

Behavioral Scientist, RAND Corporation

Stephanie Brooks Holliday (she/her) is a behavioral scientist and clinical psychologist at the RAND Corporation. Much of her work at RAND has focused on the criminal and juvenile justice system, especially diversion, reentry, and services to prevent future justice-system involvement. She has led and contributed to the evaluation of programs to improve community reintegration in this population, including a focus on employment, behavioral health, and housing needs. Her work has also focused on military and veteran health, mental health, and well-being. Brooks Holliday completed her graduate training at Drexel University and her predoctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at the Washington D.C. VA Medical Center.

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Eli Kohlenberg

Eli Kohlenberg

Research Software Engineer, RAND Corporation

Eli Kohlenberg is a Research Software Engineer in the Research Programming Group (RPG), focusing on modeling and simulations. Prior to joining RAND he worked in the automated quality assurance of shipboard and other mission critical systems. He holds a BS in Engineering Physics and Computer Science from the Tufts University School of Engineering.

Jonah Kushner

Jonah Kushner

Assistant Policy Researcher, RAND; Ph.D. Student, Pardee RAND Graduate School

Jonah Kushner is a Ph.D. student at the Pardee RAND Graduate School and an assistant policy researcher at RAND. His research interests include policies to improve health care delivery and address the social determinants of health, increase access to high-quality affordable housing, and promote workforce development and economic security in response to automation and artificial intelligence.

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Ryan McBain

Ryan K. McBain

Policy Researcher, RAND Corporation

Ryan K. McBain is a policy researcher at the RAND Corporation. He focuses on the design and evaluation of health policies and programs meant to reach vulnerable populations—including those coping with mental health conditions, HIV/AIDS, homelessness, and poverty. To achieve this, McBain has utilized a wide range of methodologies, including econometric approaches for quasi-experimental analysis, cost-effectiveness analysis, and decision analytic models, as well as key informant interviews and focus group discussions. Internationally, McBain has worked with the World Bank, World Health Organization, Harvard University and Partners In Health, where he has focused on evaluating mental health, HIV, and primary care service delivery systems, primarily in sub-Saharan Africa and Haiti.

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Kelsey O'Holleran

Kelsey O’Hollaren

Assistant Policy Researcher, RAND; Ph.D. Student, Pardee RAND Graduate School

O'Hollaren is a second-year student at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. His research interests include drug policy (particularly, drug markets and their peculiarities), housing policy in urban areas, and wealth building initiatives for low-income and minority populations. He is a graduate of Seattle University, where he earned a Bachelor of the Arts in economics.

Daniel Schwam

Daniel Schwam

Quantitative Analyst, RAND Corporation

Daniel Schwam is a quantitative analyst at the RAND Corporation in the Washington, D.C. office. He holds an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of Delaware and a master’s degree from New York University. Daniel works across a broad array of subjects at RAND, a majority of which rely heavily on analyzing microdata from a variety of public and private sources.

Amy L. Shearer

Amy L. Shearer

Associate Behavioral Scientist, RAND Corporation

Amy Shearer is an associate behavioral scientist at the RAND Corporation. She is a community psychologist interested in mental health, housing, homelessness, and community predictors of wellbeing. Her methodological skills include process and outcome evaluations of mental health and housing programs. She has co-led projects aimed at improving legal processes and identifying innovative services for homeless adults with mental illness. She is experienced in conducting expert panels, survey research and focus groups with vulnerable populations. Her recent work improves the capacity of communities to implement and evaluate violence prevention and resilience programs using RAND’s Getting To Outcomes approach. Amy co-leads the RAND Homelessness and Housing Strategy Group.

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Ryan McBain

Chuck Stelzner

Research Programmer, RAND Corporation

Chuck Stelzner is a research programmer at RAND performing software development, GIS, and other code-based analytic work across RAND, for sponsors in international development, health, and education, as well as military and national defense work. Stelzner's current work includes World Bank improvement efforts in the Balkans, Puerto Rico reconstruction planning, and analyses of the effects of EMPs on U.S. infrastructure and the effects of extreme heat on U.S. mortality. Prior to joining RAND, Stelzner served in the U.S. Air Force for four years as a satellite analyst.

Jhacova Williams

Jhacova Williams

Associate Economist, RAND Corporation

Jhacova ("Jacova") Williams is an associate economist at the RAND Corporation. She is an applied microeconomist focusing primarily on economic history and cultural economics. Her previous work has examined Southern culture and the extent to which historical events have impacted the political behavior and economic outcomes of Southern Blacks. Recent examples include historical lynchings and the political participation of Blacks; and Confederate symbols and labor market differentials. She has also done a series of projects investigating the role of structural racism in shaping racial economic disparities in labor markets. Her work has used various research designs to assess causal effects. She received her Ph.D. from Louisiana State University.

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George Zuo

George Zuo

Associate Economist, RAND Corporation

George Zuo (pronounced "zō") is an applied microeconomist whose research focuses on improving economic mobility for low-income Americans. His research has explored topics including broadband affordability, school discipline, housing, and revitalizing low-income neighborhoods. Zuo received his Ph.D. in economics from the University of Maryland in 2021, where he studied on a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Prior to his graduate studies, Zuo worked as a senior associate in economic consulting at Deloitte and received his B.A. in economics from Harvard University in 2013.

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