Spring Staff Spotlight: Housing Team Expands
Abt’s Housing and Asset Building team continues to grow. Meet some of our staff—located across the U.S.—who represent diverse backgrounds and bring a wealth of experience and perspectives to our work:
Zoya specializes in economic policy and quantitative methods, and her work experience spans local government, nonprofits, consulting, and multilateral organizations. In particular, Zoya has a diversity of experiences as a practitioner and researcher in the financial inclusion space. She worked with an international impact investment fund that provided social enterprises with the capital to grow and support their communities. While supporting the United Nations, she helped financial service providers understand the behavioral roadblocks that impede Tanzanian households from opening deposit accounts. As a graduate student at Columbia University, she studied the potential of financial literacy policies and programs in tackling predatory mortgage lending in New York City.
Dee works on youth and young adult (YYA) homelessness, specifically focusing on LGBTQIA+ YYA and BIPOC YYA. They co-created the National Youth Forum on Homelessness, the nation's first collective of young adults with lived experience focusing on federal policy change, race and gender equity, and marginalized YYA experiencing housing instability. This founding cohort collaborated with HUD to create the Youth Homeless Demonstration Project, on which Dee has served as a technical assistance provider since inception. Before coming to Abt, they spent the last five years working at True Colors United. Previously, Dee worked as an allied health educator as well as in clinical management and compliance.
Lisa is an associate on the homelessness technical assistance team, bringing decades of expertise and lived experience to her work. She has leadership experience in system design, implementation, and evaluation, and created statewide infrastructure and provided leadership to Local Homeless Education Liaison as part of the McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, helping to link services and supports for students experiencing homelessness. Prior to joining Abt, Lisa was a technical lead for HUD’s Youth Homelessness Demo Project, and helped to plan, facilitate and evaluate YHDP projects. She is a fierce advocate, helping to elevate critical community stories on housing, homelessness, and the child welfare and juvenile justice systems, as well as the far-reaching impacts of trauma and socio-emotional wellbeing.
Naganika Sanga, Ph.D.
Naganika specializes in collaborative planning practice, community-engaged research, and program evaluation in housing policy and urban governance. She has over 10 years of experience working on housing policy issues in multiple countries. Her doctoral research at the University of Michigan examined diverse state housing policy frameworks in the U.S. and their impact on local housing policy and housing production. At Abt, she contributes to research, evaluation, and technical assistance projects related to local and state housing policies, federal programs funded under American Rescue Plan grants, and private investment for affordable housing. She currently lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Adam Travis, Ph.D.
Adam joined Abt in fall 2022 and focuses on work at the intersection of housing policy, climate and environmental hazards, and equity. As a doctoral fellow at Harvard University, his work examined the effects of rising flood hazards on home prices and investigated how different legal forms of rental housing ownership, such as the use of limited liability companies (LLCs), facilitated housing disinvestment and disrepair. He currently supports projects on eviction prevention, neighborhood mobility and economic opportunity, and residential energy efficiency, among others.
Spencer Williams, AICP, Associate AIA
Spencer joined Abt in March 2023 and is a Certified Planner with over 10 years of experience in equitable planning and development. He has worked in a variety of sectors and roles to better understand how different policies and processes shape places and communities. Spencer has worked to bring new voices into critical conversations around land use, housing, and community development, with a special focus on implementation at the local level through public housing authorities, local elected office, and city departments.