Dr. Rawlings is a policy researcher and non-governmental organization leader. She is the founder and CEO of The Policy Academies, a US based research training, leadership development, network building, and grantmaking organization. The Policy Academies works to create a policy making environment where policy decisions are centered on racial equity and economic justice--developed by policy leaders who reflect the dignity, diversity, character, and strength of historically exploited communities. The Policy Academies does this by cultivating the careers of emerging scholars of color from low-to-moderate income backgrounds for influential careers in public policy, helping them carve pathways into leading policy organizations, and creating networks, platforms, and springboards for their ideas. The ultimate goal is that this new talent will help define, investigate, and propose solutions to the racial equity and economic justice challenges of our times.
From 2007 through 2012, during her tenure as senior researcher at the Urban Institute, Dr. Rawlings conceived, designed, and led the Academy for Public Policy Analysis and Research– the pilot program that serves as the underpinnings of The Policy Academies. In addition to leading The Policy Academies, Dr. Rawlings is an elected member of the National Academy of Social Insurance and serves on the Board of the DC Fiscal Policy Institute. She was previously a Non-Resident Fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program of the Brookings Institution. She has also contributed to policy research and initiatives for the German Marshall Fund of the US, the Bertelsmann Foundation, and the European Foundation Center. Dr. Rawlings began her career at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities as Research Assistant, then Program Associate with the Income Security Division. She holds a PhD in Public Policy from George Washington University in Washington, DC.