Speaker Bios 

Katherine Gallagher Robbins is the Director of family policy for the Poverty to Prosperity Program at the Center for American Progress. Before joining the Center for American Progress (CAP), Robbins was the director of research and policy analysis at the National Women’s Law Center, where she worked on improving the economic security of women and their families, with a special focus on poor women and women of color. Prior to attending graduate school, Robbins spent two years as a campus organizer for the California Public Interest Research Group at the University of California, San Diego. Robbins’ research has been cited by numerous media outlets, including CNN, CBS, NBC, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Atlantic, and The Huffington Post, and she is often quoted in both national and local media. She has authored several reports and analyses on poverty and the safety net, income security, wage inequality, and the low-wage workforce. Robbins received her doctorate in Political Science from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor. She graduated magna cum laude from the College of William and Mary with a bachelor’s degree in Government.

Sarah Jane Glynn is a Senior Fellow at the National Academy of Social Insurance and a freelance consultant and researcher. She is the former Director of Women’s Economic Policy at the Center for American Progress, and is a nationally recognized expert on family economic security and paid family and medical leave. Glynn has researched and written extensively on state paid leave programs and their administration, and has authored reports for state and county governments outlining detailed policy and implementation plans for paid leave social insurance programs. She has been asked to testify before state and local governments on paid family leave, and has consulted with members of Congress and political candidates on paid family leave social insurance proposals. Glynn received her bachelor’s degree in Women’s Studies from UCLA and her doctorate in Sociology from Vanderbilt University.

Kali Grant is the Senior Policy Associate for the Economic Security & Opportunity Initiative at the Georgetown Center on Poverty and Inequality (GCPI). At GCPI, she helps lead research, writing, and communication activities, including conceptualizing commissioned quantitative analyses and policy proposals; private and public convenings; and directly researching and developing policy proposals that address shortcomings of key public benefit programs, as well as ideas related to labor standards, creating job opportunities, and leveraging health reform and health systems change to ameliorate deep poverty. Previously, Grant was an AmeriCorps VISTA at the Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law in Chicago, where she focused on economic justice and asset-building policies that support low-income families and individuals. Grant is an MPP candidate at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown, and graduated with Research Distinction from the John Glenn College of Public Affairs at The Ohio State University. At Ohio State, Grant was the founder and Editor-in-Chief of the Ohio State chapter of Her Campus, a national online newsmagazine for college women. She also served as a research assistant at the John Glenn College of Public Affairs, where she identified food innovation trends among private U.K. retailers with a long-term focus on policy implications for corporate social responsibility, childhood obesity, and consumer behavior and choice.

Anna Shireen Wadia is Senior Program Officer in the Inclusive Economies team at the Ford Foundation. Her grant making has focused on expanding access to Unemployment Insurance and ensuring that all workers earn a family-supporting wage and have access to paid sick days and paid family leave. Wadia has been with the foundation since 2009 and also worked with Ford earlier. She was previously a consultant for the Annie E. Casey and Ms. Foundations, the National Council for Research on Women, and MDRC. Her practice focused on analyzing, implementing, and assessing strategies to improve low-wage jobs and increase opportunities for low-income women and families; providing technical assistance to grantees; and analyzing effective grant-making strategies. Prior to launching her consulting business, Wadia managed community and economic development programming for the Ms. Foundation for Women in the United States and for the Ford Foundation and Catholic Relief Services in Africa. Wadia co-authored Kitchen Table Entrepreneurs: How Eleven Women Escaped Poverty and Became Their Own Bosses (Westview, 2002), as well as several reports on best practices in women’s economic empowerment. She holds a master’s degree in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University and a bachelor’s degree from Yale University.