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UNC Center for Community Capital Executive Director Janneke Ratcliffe has been named assistant director for financial education at the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

Ratcliffe assumes her new post Sept. 29. Quercia has appointed Dr. Lucy Gorham to serve as acting executive director of the center beginning Sept. 26.  She has served as senior research associate for financial inclusion and economic mobility since joining the center in 2012.

“We applaud the CFPB’s appointment of Ms. Ratcliffe to this important position,” Center Director Roberto G. Quercia said. “In this role, she’ll be able to draw and build on her decade of work with our center conducting research and policy analysis on how to make financial services and institutions better serve America’s families. Arming consumers with information and services that enable them to become more financially secure will benefit not only individual families, but also their communities and the economy.”

The CFPB was created by the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act to help consumer financial markets work by making rules more effective, consistently and fairly enforcing those rules, and empowering consumers to take more control over their economic lives. Its Office of Financial Education is responsible for developing and implementing financial education programs and policy that empower consumers to  make better informed financial decisions in order to serve their own life goals. (Read the CFPB announcement)

“We’re delighted that Dr. Gorham has agreed to step up to this position to ensure a seamless transition, “Quercia said. “She has worked closely with Janneke and me on strategic planning, overseen expansion of our work in  financial inclusion and economic mobility, served as co-principal investigator on a major  multi-year housing counseling study funded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and leads the team that conducts the center’s evaluation work, an important and growing part of the our portfolio.”

Gorham brings diverse experience in both asset-building program implementation and policy development. Her past research considered the changing shape of the U.S. labor market for less-educated workers and its impact on growing economic inequality; trends in wealth and earnings inequality in urban and rural geographies; best practices in asset-building programs and policy; post-purchase housing counseling; and the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Before joining the center, she spent nine years designing and implementing asset-building programs at MDC, a Durham, N.C. nonprofit, conducted research through the UNC Center for Urban and Regional Studies, and held professional staff positions in the U.S. Congress on the Joint Economic Committee and the House Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Relations and Human Resources. She serves on the boards of several nonprofits and the steering committees of CFED Assets and Opportunity Network and North Carolina Assets Alliance.

She holds master’s and doctoral degrees in urban studies and planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a B.A. in human biology from Stanford University.

The UNC Center for Community Capital conducts research analysis that support innovations in financial services that help low-income households achieve financial security. Part of the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the center offers data and analysis that policymakers, advocates and the private sector use to find sustainable ways to expand economic opportunity to more people more effectively. For more information, visit or call (919) 843-2140.




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