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Cortes, Ph.D.

Vice President, Capabilities and Knowledge

Alvaro Cortes is an accomplished researcher, project director and policy advisor with a focus on U.S. social policies, including vulnerable populations, homelessness, affordable housing and neighborhood dynamics. Cortes’ methodological expertise includes study design, program assessment and evaluation, data collection and analysis, site/program recruitment, and report writing.

Cortes has extensive experience working with homeless populations, producing annual reports to the U.S. Congress on the extent and nature of homelessness and leading several rigorous evaluations of programs designed to improve the economic and health outcomes of program participants. For many years, he has worked on projects designed to assist both federal agencies and grantees in operationalizing, measuring and reporting performance outcomes. Cortes also has contributed to several other important national studies, including an evaluation of the federal government’s response to the foreclosure crisis, homeownership studies that focus on Hispanics and Native Americans, and an evaluation of the nation’s welfare-to-work program.

Cortes directs Abt Associates' Global Market & Capability Centers. He is responsible for:

  • developing and delivering products and services that support the company’s business development strategy;
  • positioning Abt as a global thought leader—delivering exceptional work that is driven by data, rigor, and relevance;
  • developing and delivering technical trainings that upskill staff—offering important professional development opportunities that align with future capability needs; and
  • sustaining technical communities of practice that enhance our knowledge-base and contribute to a vibrant work environment.

The Global Market Centers focus on Abt’s domain expertise: education, youth, and families; environment and energy; food security and agriculture; gender equity and social inclusion; governance and justice; health; housing, communities and asset building; and workforce and economic mobility. The Global Capability Centers focus on five technical capabilities: research, monitoring and evaluation; technical assistance and implementation; data capture and survey; equity; and digital transformations.

Cortes also oversees the company's Knowledge Management strategy, which focuses on using AI tools to amplify the value of knowledge sharing, increase access to knowledge resources, and empower Abt’s business units to win new work. He is a member of Abt's Leadership Committee that supports the executive team in developing and implementing the company's strategic vision.


  • Vulnerable populations, including homeless populations
  • Neighborhood dynamics
  • Study design, program assessment and evaluation
  • Poverty-related policy and policy analysis
  • Language: Spanish (fluent)

Key Projects

  • Evaluation of the Transitional Living Program, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HUD)
  • Annual Homeless Assessment Report, HUD
  • Evaluation of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, HUD
  • Improving Homeownership Opportunities for Hispanic Families, HUD 

Selected Publications

  • Spader, Jon, Alvaro Cortes, Jenny Schuetz, Chris Redfearn, Larry Buron, Kimberly Burnett, Anna Jefferson, Jennifer Lewis, and Michael DiDomenico. “The Impact of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program on Neighborhoods.” (Forthcoming). Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  • Cortes, Alvaro, Lauren Dunton, Meghan Henry, Howard Rolston and Jill Khadduri. (2012). “Linking Human Services and Housing Assistance for Homeless Families and Families at Risk of Homelessness.” Washington, DC: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • Cortes, Alvaro, Jill Khadduri, and Dennis Culhane. (2008 - 2014). The Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress. Bethesda, MD: Abt Associates, Inc.
  • Cortes, Alvaro, Ken Lam, and David Fein. (2008). Family Life Cycle and Longevity in Housing Assistance. Cityscape 10(1): 117-156.
  • Cortes, Alvaro, Christopher E. Herbert, Erin Wilson, and Elizabeth Clay. (2007). Improving Homeownership Opportunities for Hispanic Families: A Review of the Literature. Cityscape 9(2): 53-92.
  • Cortes, Alvaro. (2004). The Impact of Urban Universities on Neighborhood Housing Markets: An Empirical Analysis. Urban Affairs Review 39(3): 342-375.
  • Galster, George C. and Alvaro Cortes. (2003). Spatially Concentrated Poverty, Neighborhood Social Problems, and Assisted Housing Programs. Placing Changes: Perspectives on Place in Housing and Urban Studies, Craig M. Gurney (ed.). London: Ashgate Publishers.
  • Galster, George C., Roberto G. Quercia, Alvaro Cortes and Ron Mallega. (2003). The Fortunes of Poor Neighborhoods. Urban Affairs Review, 39(2): 205-227.
Alvaro Cortes