Our main office is in New York City, and we also have field staff based in Chicago, Oakland, and Boston. In addition to this core team, PBP Associates assist staff by providing sustained support for specific program areas. See full bios at the bottom of the page.





Josh Lerner, Executive Director – New York
Josh is co-founder and executive director of the Participatory Budgeting Project. For over a decade, he has developed, researched and worked with dozens of community engagement and participatory budgeting processes in North America, Latin America, and Europe. He completed a PhD in Politics at the New School for Social Research and a Masters in Planning from the University of Toronto. In addition to teaching at Fordham University and The New School, he has worked as a popular educator with the Brooklyn Center for the Urban Environment and as a community development adviser on UNDP projects in Slovakia. Josh is the author of Making Democracy Fun: How Game Design Can Empower Citizens and Transform Politics (MIT Press, 2014). His articles have appeared in The Christian Science Monitor, The National Civic Review, YES! Magazine, Shelterforce, the Journal of Public Deliberation, and the Journal of Public Budgeting, Accounting and Financial Management@joshalerner

Meg Wade, Training & Operations Manager – New York
DSC01260Meg coordinates PBP’s operations and training activities. Before joining staff, she served on the PBP Board of Directors for two years. She first participated in PB during the inaugural year of participatory budgeting in Chicago’s 49th Ward, serving as a co-chair of the transportation committee. A former community organizer with Democracy Unlimited of Humboldt County, she has also worked as a research associate for Citizens for Election Integrity Minnesota on projects related to recount and audit election law, as a freelance facilitator, and as a bookseller and bookkeeper at Skylight Books. She has also served on the board of organizations such as Local First Chicago. She holds both a B.A. and M.A. from the University of Chicago.

Pam Jennings, Project Coordinator – New York
Pam JenningsPam coordinates PBP’s work in New York and Boston. She holds a Master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Rhode Island, where she began her study of PB in 2009. During that time, she served on a research team at Brown University that traced the trajectory of PB around the world. She has experience as a community organizer, a Spanish teacher, and as a translator in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She started working with PBP as an Associate in 2011, and she served as a facilitator and organizer with the PB District Committee in New York’s 39th Council District, where she lives.
Maria Hadden, Project Coordinator – Chicago
Maria coordinates PBP’s work in Chicago. She is a resident of Chicago’s 49th Ward, and she first became involved in PB as a volunteer community representative during the ward’s first PB cycle in 2009. She has served as a member of the 49th Ward Participatory Budgeting Leadership Committee, and she now co-chairs the PB Chicago Steering Committee. She is an AmeriCorps*VISTA alum and completed her Master’s degree at DePaul University’s School of Public Service.

Ginny Browne, Project Coordinator – Oakland, California
Ginny BrowneGinny coordinates PBP’s work in California. She completed her Master’s in Urban and Regional Planning at UCLA, where she did extensive research on participatory budgeting in North America. With PBP, she coordinated the first city-wide PB process in the US, in Vallejo, CA. Prior to joining PBP, Ginny worked as a community organizer with the grassroots New York organization Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES), a researcher with the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) in the Bay Area, and an AmericorpsVISTA associate with Fifth Avenue Committee, a community development corporation in Brooklyn. She has collaborated with a wide range of agencies and organizations, from LA’s Strategic Actions for a Just Economy to the Federal Transportation Administration, to engage local communities on issues such as workforce development, affordable housing preservation, and transportation equity. Ginny also has a background in community media and has reported news for National Public Radio and the Pacifica Network.

Aseem Mulji, Data & Technology Manager - Oakland, California
aseemmuljiAseem manages PBP’s technology projects. In his time at PBP, Aseem also helped to implement the first city-wide PB process in the US, in Vallejo, CA and continues to support PB processes in California. His interest in PB came out of prior work editing a publication on civic innovation and citizen engagement. Other past professional experience includes work with the Addison County Planning Commission in Vermont and the Department of Transportation in DC. Aseem is a graduate of Middlebury College where he studied geography, math and French.

Lize Mogel, Development Manager – New York
ashleyLize is a grantwriter and development consultant who has been fundraising for cultural and social justice organizations for more than a decade, including for organizations such as the Center for Urban Pedagogy (CUP) and Good Old Lower East Side (GOLES). Lize is also an artist and counter-cartographer who works with the intersection of art, geography, and popular education. She is co-editor of the book/map collection “An Atlas of Radical Cartography” and has presented her work internationally.

David Beasley, Communications Director – New York
davidDavid creates comprehensive communications strategies that elevate non-profit organizations¹ missions and thought leadership. He has trained diverse advocates to be spokespeople for their movements and supported them through print and broadcast media engagements. Previously, he was Public Relations Manager at Safe Horizon, and Communications Manager for Scenarios USA. He has also done pro-bono communications work for Hollaback! and the Pop-Up Museum of Queer History, among others. David believes that telling better stories can change culture.

Gianpaolo Baiocchi, Research Associate – New York
Gianpaolo is Associate Professor at New York University’s Gallatin School. He has been involved with PB since 1997, when he began his dissertation research on the topic in Porto Alegre. He has written widely on participatory democracy and participatory budgeting, in publications ranging from the American Sociological Review to the Boston Review and Labor Notes. His comparative research on multiple cities with PB is the topic of his book Making Spaces for Civil Society (with P. Heller and M.K. Silva, 2008). His book on Porto Alegre’s PB (Militants and Citizens, 2005) has been taken up widely in planning and activist circles.

Isaac Jabola-Carolus, Research Associate – New York
Isaac is a Research Associate with PBP. From 2012 to 2014, he served as a Project Assistant, supporting PB processes in New York City and Boston. Prior to joining PBP, he worked with the New York Hotel Trades Council and the Community Development Project at the Urban Justice Center. A graduate of Brown University with a degree in Development Studies, he has also researched and written about participatory democracy in social movements.

Joanna Duarte Laudon, Program Associate – Toronto
Joanna is a graduate of the University of Toronto who completed her Master’s degree at York University in urban planning. She has researched and facilitated public participation programs in Venezuela and her hometown of Toronto. In 2009 and 2010 she co-facilitated two participatory evaluations of Toronto Community Housing’s PB process, working with a team of public housing tenants and staff to research and improve the process. Joanna has also worked with community organizations such as Barrio Nuevo, Manifesto Community Projects, and the Hispanic Development Council.

Madeleine Pape, Research AssociateMadison, Wisconsin
Madeleine is a graduate student in the Sociology program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She supports PBP with developing standardized evaluation instruments and a common research agenda. Her own work is focused on gender, looking at the ways in which women engage with participatory budgeting, how gender relations influence participatory budgeting processes, and the contribution of participatory budgeting to gender equality.

Daniel Schugurensky, Research Associate – Tempe, Arizona
Daniel is a professor in the School of Social Transformation and in the School of Public Affairs at Arizona State University. He is particularly interested in the connections between participatory democracy, citizenship education and community engagement. Daniel has helped organize three international conferences on citizenship learning and participatory democracy (Toronto 2003, Toronto 2008, Rosario 2010). He has conducted research on Participatory Budgeting in Brazil, Uruguay, Argentina and Canada, paying special attention to the educational dimension of participatory budgeting. He co-edited the book “Learning citizenship by practicing democracy: International initiatives and perspectives” (Cambridge Scholarly Press, 2010). Other recent publications include “The Tango of Citizenship Learning and Participatory Democracy”, “’This is our school of citizenship’: Informal learning in local democracy”, “’I took a lot of stuff for granted’: Participatory budgeting and the Neighbourhood Support Coalition” (with Elizabeth Pinnington), “Who Learns What in Participatory Democracy? Participatory Budgeting in Rosario, Argentina” (with Josh Lerner), and “Participatory Budgeting in North America: The Case of Guelph, Canada” (with Elizabeth Pinnington and Josh Lerner).

Donata Secondo, Program Associate – New York
Donata is a graduate in Development Studies and Latin American Studies of Brown University. From 2011 to 2012 she served as PBP’s Project Coordinator for PBNYC. Her past professional experience includes work with the Watson Institute for International Studies as well CENDA, a leading Chilean political think tank, and CEDEM, a women’s studies research institute. She has been researching the diffusion of participatory budgeting and its impact on social justice in practicing communities for several years.