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.
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.