Dr. Lori Pfingst oversees policy and program development for the state’s social benefit programs and supports efforts to reduce poverty and increase intergenerational well-being for kids and families. Her work has spanned a broad range of areas, including poverty, income inequality, labor markets, P-20 education, criminology, and epidemiology. She is a published author and storyteller, using the power of data paired with community voice to foster long-term, systems-level policy and program change for children and families throughout the state. Prior to her current role, Pfingst served as the Research & Policy Director for the Washington State Budget & Policy Center, as a research scientist with Public Health-Seattle & King County, and Assistant Director of Washington KIDS COUNT in the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington. Pfingst received her PhD in Sociology from the University of Washington in 2010.

My Truth

While it is widely acknowledged that economic stability and success is a prerequisite to child, family, and community well-being, state efforts to reduce poverty and invest in the opportunities that all Washingtonians need to thrive remain fragmented and under-resourced. The good news is progress is underway – Governor Inslee recently formed an Interagency Workgroup on Poverty Reduction, which was followed by the passage of legislation creating an executive-legislative taskforce with a primary focus on intergenerational poverty. These aligned efforts require that a comprehensive strategic plan for poverty reduction be developed by December 1, 2019.

Stories featuring Lori Pfingst

I started off the 2022 Aspen Ideas Festival at Aspen Words Book Ball, a passion project of Isa Catto and Daniel Shaw.
Ascend FellowshipJune 25, 2022
This year, the Aspen Idea Festival returns to in-person programming at our campus in the Rocky Mountains June 25 - July 1, 2022.
Ascend FellowshipJune 15, 2022
With eyes wide open and steady resolve, the importance of leadership, courage, and conviction can’t be understated. We need leaders to pull us into a post-pandemic world, crack the walls of systemic racism so they come crashing down, and build a society that collaborates to create opportunity for those often blocked from it. Reimagining a …

The Time Is Always Right To Do What Is Right Read More »

BlogJanuary 14, 2021
Aspen Trees
A two-generation (2Gen) approach builds family well-being by intentionally and simultaneously working with children and the adults in their lives together. Anchored in equity and informed by parents’ lived experience, 2Gen approaches aim to result in stronger and better outcomes for the entire family. For nearly a decade, state and local entities have leveraged various federal programs and …

Introducing the Aspen Two-Generation Coordinator Community of Practice Read More »

BlogJuly 13, 2020
Black Lives Matter. As a collective of leaders committed to advancing two-generation strategies to end multigenerational poverty, we believe that the only path to that outcome is through a reckoning with our past and present, and a fundamental shift in our institutions. This requires a new social contract to remedy the harms of White supremacy –a …

Undo A System of White Supremacy: The Call for a New Social Contract Read More »

BlogJune 29, 2020
Kwame AnkuChairman and CEOBlack Star Fund Sacramento, CAMy Vision – The problem I am focusing on solving is breaking the economic disparity cycle afflicting people of the African diaspora. I call my bold vision 100X100. It is a vision of 100 Black investment managers who will each manage $100M innovation funds by 2025. I believe we …

2018 Ascend Fellow Action Plans Read More »

Ascend FellowshipJune 19, 2019
As state and federal lawmakers prepare for the year ahead, more than 350 practice and community leaders, policymakers, researchers, and philanthropists - including Ascend Fellows, Family Prosperity Innovators, and Ascend Network Partners - joined us at the 2019 Aspen Forum on Children and Families to harness this momentum for investing in the full potential of children and families, two generations at a time.
BlogMarch 13, 2019
We are so grateful to all of the people who offered so much wisdom over the course of our two days together for the Aspen Forum on Children and Families. From parents and neuroscientists to presidential appointees and social workers–it felt like they all pushed further into the complex and deeply worthwhile questions of how …

Great Quotes on Slaying Poverty Read More »

BlogFebruary 28, 2019
2018 Ascend Fellows
NEWS RELEASE Contact: Lindsay Broyhill Ascend at the Aspen Institute Tel: 202.721.5596 Lindsay.broyhill@aspeninstitute.org Prestigious Aspen Institute Ascend Fellowship Announces 2018 Class of Leaders Diverse Leaders Selected for Their Groundbreaking Work Advancing Opportunity for Children and Families With Low Incomes Washington, DC, September 6, 2018 – The Aspen Institute announced today the 2018 class of Aspen …

Prestigious Aspen Institute Ascend Fellowship Announces 2018 Class of Leaders Read More »

Press ReleasesSeptember 6, 2018

Convenings Featuring Lori Pfingst

Date: June 28, 2022
Location: St. Regis Hotel Courtyard (Aspen, CO) & Live Webcast (virtual)
Many places we look, we are stuck. Stuck in old ways and old thinking. We are burdened by zero-sum thinking and surrounded by the word ‘can’t.’ Our best way to get unstuck is to follow and stand with visionary leaders that don’t get...
ConveningJune 28, 2022
Date: June 8, 2021
Location: Virtual (Zoom)
Unprecedented in its scope and scale, the American Recovery Act opens up pathways to economic opportunity for families. How do states use the new law to remove barriers for families and meaningfully dismantle structural racism and end pernicious...
ConveningJune 8, 2021