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Lucy Gorham, PhD

Research Fellow
Area(s) of Expertise: 
Family economic stability and tax policy

Lucy Gorham is executive director of the UNC Center for Community Capital and an MDC research fellow. Her work includes a focus on economic mobility and inequality, financial inclusion and access to high quality financial products and services for the underserved, affordable housing, and the importance of access to key asset-building opportunities across the lifespan such as homeownership, higher education, and retirement savings.

Gorham brings diverse experience in the design, implementation, and evaluation of financial capability programs and policy. Her past research considered the changing shape of the U.S. labor market for less-educated workers and its impact on growing economic inequality; trends in wealth and earnings inequality in urban and rural geographies; best practices in savings and asset-building programs and policy; post-purchase housing counseling; and the design, utilization, and impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Gorham spent nine years designing and implementing free tax return filing and asset-building programs at MDC.  Before that, she conducted research through the UNC Center for Urban and Regional Studies, provided staffing for the North Carolina Rural Prosperity Task Force, and held professional staff positions in the U.S. Congress on the Joint Economic Committee and the House Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Relations and Human Resources.

Gorham serves on the boards of several nonprofits, including the national steering committee of the CFED Assets and Opportunity Network, the North Carolina Assets Alliance, the IDA and Asset Building Collaborative of North Carolina, and the Center for Economic Justice.  

Educational Background: Bachelor of Science in human biology (Stanford University), Master’s Degree and Ph.D. in urban studies and planning (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)