It is our talented staff members who enable Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center to provide independent research and analysis of state budget and tax policies, as well as economic issues that affect low- and moderate-income people in Massachusetts.

Our Staff

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Marie-Frances Rivera, President

Marie-Frances is President at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. She has held many roles at the organization over the past several years, including Deputy Director, Director of Development and Policy Analyst

Prior to joining MassBudget, Marie-Frances was a grantmaker at the Hyams Foundation, which has a mission of increasing economic, racial, and social justice and power within low-income communities in Greater Boston. While at the Foundation, she advised and worked on the creation and implementation of a newly formed racial justice and public policy grantmaking initiative.

Marie-Frances has also spent time directly working with young people through a youth mentoring program she helped establish and manage in her hometown of New Bedford, MA. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Babson College and a Master in Law and Public Policy from Northeastern University.

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Phineas Baxandall, Senior Policy Analyst

Phineas Baxandall is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, focusing on transportation and tax revenue, as well as local aid in the state budget.

Before joining MassBudget, Phineas directed the Transportation and Tax & Budget programs for the U.S. Public Interest Research Group and its network of 30 state affiliate organizations.

Prior to his work with U.S. PIRG, Phineas was Assistant Director at the Taubman Center for State and Local Government and the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston at Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. He was a teaching fellow for eight years at Harvard's Committee for Degrees in Social Studies, where he lectured on social policy and political economy. He was a long-time editorial board member for Dollars & Sense magazine.

Phineas earned a Ph.D. from MIT in Political Science and a B.A. from Wesleyan University.

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Monique Ching, Policy Analyst

Monique Ching is a Policy Analyst at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center focusing on human services and juvenile justice. Her background is in journalism, reporting on local and state government in Texas. Monique holds a Masters Degree in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University.


Jen Das, Development Writer

Jen Das is Development Writer at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

Her background is in communications and non-profit development. Jen’s career has spanned the private, public and non-profit sector, with a commitment to connecting resources to those who need them most.

Jen holds a B.A. from Arizona State University and an M.P.P. from the University of Denver. She lives in Somerville with her husband and daughter.


Kendra Foley, Director of Development

Kendra Foley is the Director of Development at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

Her background is in education policy, fundraising and non-profit development. She served in the Patrick Administration as Governor Patrick's Director of Boards and Commissions as well as Chief of Staff to Secretary of Education Paul Reville. Prior to her work in state government, she worked on three statewide gubernatorial races. Committed to community service, she joined Teach for America after graduating from Boston College.

She lives in Watertown with her husband and three children and is a current member of the Watertown School Committee.

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Marcus Giang, Research Analyst

Marcus graduated from the University of Massachusetts Boston with a B.A. in Economics and has served as an intern at MassBudget and at the Regional and Community Outreach division of the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

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Colin Jones, Senior Policy Analyst

Colin Jones is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center focusing on early and K-12 education policy and finance.

Prior to joining MassBudget, Colin served four terms in AmeriCorps national service programs focused on project based learning, academic support, and entrepreneurship at the non-profits BUILD in Oakland, California and Citizen Schools Massachusetts. Colin also designed and implemented teen summer jobs programs through the John Hancock MLK Scholars program.

Colin completed his Masters in Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, focusing on Urban Policy and Education. At Harvard, Colin also undertook field and course work in non-profit management, state and local finance, budgeting, and philanthropy. Colin holds a Bachelors of Arts in Politics from Oberlin College and is a native of the Pioneer Valley of Western Massachusetts.

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Anastasia Martinez, Policy Analyst

Anastasia (Ana) Martinez is a State Policy Fellow who will focus on education research and analysis at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center.

Her background is in education, teaching, and youth program coordination. Previously, she worked as a coordinator for afterschool and summer camp programs for ETSS, a social services organization for immigrants and refugees in central Ohio. In this role, she created and implemented social and emotional learning activities for students participating in the programs. Afterwards, Anastasia served as a Teach for America corps member in Fall River. As the founding middle school social studies educator, she developed and taught the social studies curriculum for grades 6-8 .

Ana holds a B.A of Public Policy from The Ohio State University and a Masters of Curriculum and Instruction from Boston University.

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Jeremy Surla Vargas, Bookkeeper and Office Manager

Jer Surla Vargas is the Bookkeeper & Office Manager for MassBudget. Previously, Jer was the Program Administrator for the Gender and Sexuality Center (GSC) at Brandeis University and the Program Director at the Hispanic Black Gay Coalition (HBGC). He ran day-to-day operations in addition to doing outreach, speaking at events, and representing HBGC at a variety of panels and functions. In his role with HBGC, he was responsible for all the organization’s programming including: the Youth Empowerment Conference, monthly men’s and women’s groups--BLAQ T and Sister Circle, and disabled People of Color (POC) LGBTQIA+ group. Additionally, he also managed volunteers, facilitators, and interns.

He received his B.A. in English with minors in Education & Applied Psychology and LGBTQIA+ Studies from UCSB. He also has a Masters in Social Work from Boston College with a focus in Community Organizing, Policy, Programming, and Administration, specializing in Health/Mental Health and Leadership + Social Innovation. He is also a Licensed Certified Social Worker (LCSW).

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Mary Tittmann, Vice-President

Mary Tittmann is Vice-President at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. She also oversees organizational outreach and focuses on environmental and housing issues in the state budget.

Before joining MassBudget Mary worked with State Senator Jarrett T. Barrios first as his legislative director and then as chief of staff. Mary came to Beacon Hill through her work in local politics in Cambridge. Prior to moving to Massachusetts, Mary worked for the Economic Development Commission in the City of Chicago and spent ten years working on Capitol Hill in the US House of Representatives and the Office of Technology Assessment.

She has volunteered on numerous state and local political campaigns, helped found a parent's group for the city's public schools Cambridge United for Education, and served as Executive Director of the Cambridge Civic Association. Mary has a B.A. from Connecticut College and an M.A. in International Political Economy from the University of Chicago.

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Nancy Wagman, Kids Count Director

Nancy Wagman is the Kids Count Director at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, and is also responsible for MassBudget's Budget Browser and Children's Budget. She also covers health care, and federal and other non-tax revenue in the state budget.

Prior to joining MassBudget, Nancy worked at Massachusetts Senate Post Audit and Oversight Bureau, and has also been a policy and program analyst at the state Department of Public Health, a WIC program director, a human services agency planner, and a special education advocate.

Nancy holds a B.A. from Oberlin College, and an M.C.P. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

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Reginauld Williams, Communications Director

Reginauld (Reggie) Williams is the Director of Communications at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center. He is responsible for creating and implementing an organization-wide strategy that amplifies equitable state policy solutions.

His background is in development, media relations and nonprofit management. Most recently, Reggie served as a design consultant on Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts’ innovation team, as well as a policy associate in State Government & Regulatory Affairs. Prior to his work in healthcare, he served as the development director of the Transformative Culture Project after attending Morehouse College where he studied foreign policy and ethical leadership. As an advocate, he has campaigned for arts education programs and funding with Mass Creative’s Leadership Council.

Reggie currently serves as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for Boston’s Art & Music Soul (BAMS) Festival, Inc.


Kurt Wise, Senior Policy Analyst

Kurt Wise is a Senior Policy Analyst at the Massachusetts Budget and Policy Center, focusing on tax policy.

Before joining MassBudget, Kurt worked as a policy analyst at the Maine Center for Economic Policy and the Massachusetts Taxpayers Foundation.

In his twenties and early thirties, Kurt owned and operated a small, book wholesaling business. During that period, he also worked in cabinetry and construction, eventually designing and building his own, super-insulated home in the woods of Pelham, Massachusetts.

Kurt holds a master’s degree in Public Policy Analysis (MPP) from Duke University and a B.A. in Anthropology from UMass Amherst.