Prior to his appointment as Executive Director of the Economy League, Jeff served as Director of Financial and Policy Analysis for the Philadelphia City Controller where he advised the Controller and worked on critical issues relating to Philadelphia's fiscal health. Under Jeff’s leadership, the Policy Unit produced numerous data-driven policy analyses on topics including the City's property tax system, tax delinquency and receivables issues, tax incentive programs, charter school finances, the efficacy of the City's tourism and convention promotion entities, and the state of retirement security in Philadelphia. In collaboration with the City's Commerce Department, he began coordination of a citywide initiative to increase local spending by Philadelphia's major eds-and-meds anchor institutions, and will continue to coordinate this Anchor Procurement initiative as Executive Director of the Economy League.
In his civic life, Jeff serves on the boards of Queen Village Neighbors Association, a civic association in Philadelphia, as well as the Philadelphia Crosstown Coalition, a citywide organization representing 25 civic associations. He helped convene the Friends Of Neighborhood Education, a citywide initiative to build community support for neighborhood public schools. He has also participated in several of our Leadership Exchanges and ran for City Council in 2011.
After leaving academia in 2001 with a PhD in business history and publication of a well-regarded book on the real estate industry "A Nation of Realtors," Jeff spent a decade in the labor movement. He helped low-wage workers in the service and education sectors build workplace and political power. Born in Brooklyn, a product of public schools in Matawan, NJ, with degrees from MIT, Penn, and the University of Maryland, he has called Philadelphia home since 2001.
Director, GPLEX & Projects
Since joining the Economy League in 2008, Jennifer has led projects on a broad range of policy issues, including innovation-based economic development, city and state budget analysis, and transportation funding. Most recently, Jennifer has focused on education and talent development work as part of the World Class Greater Philadelphia initiative, with an emphasis on pre-k and k-12 policy and research. She has also served as staff lead on the Metropolitan Caucus, a convening body of the Mayor of Philadelphia and the county commissioners and council people from Bucks, Chester, Delaware, and Montgomery counties.
Before coming to the Economy League, Jennifer worked at the Senator Walter Rand Institute for Public Affairs at Rutgers University-Camden. She managed a direct service project aimed at increasing the economic stability of working families. In addition, she led neutral convening efforts in public safety engaging community members and law enforcement, implemented program evaluations, and conducted research in areas ranging from adult literacy to family asset development. She began her career writing and managing grants for a family planning agency.
Jennifer holds a BA in history from Indiana University and an MPA from Rutgers University. She lives in Mt. Airy with her husband, son, and daughter.
Managing Director, Projects & Operations
Nick is responsible for developing and implementing the Economy League's organizational strategy and providing operational leadership as chief of staff. He has been with the Economy League since 2010, previously serving as project manager for World Class Greater Philadelphia and other research and strategy projects.
Prior to joining the Economy League, Nick held positions at the Philadelphia Industrial Development Corporation, the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia, and the Italian American Community Services Agency in San Francisco. He holds an AB from the University of Chicago and a Master of City Planning from the University of Pennsylvania. Nick lives with his wife in South Philadelphia.
Meredith L. Garfield
Manager, Office & Organizational Administration
Meredith Garfield joined the Economy League in 1999 as an administrative associate, supporting the executive director and staff in all aspects of office and project management. In her current role, Meredith is responsible for managing all of the organizational bookkeeping, audit matters, human resources & IT support. In 2010, Meredith took on an additional role, as the administrator for the Pennsylvania Economy League, Inc. (PEL), the corporate home of the Economy League of Greater Philadelphia. Working with Jeff in his role as managing director of PEL, Meredith assists with pension administration, oversees the financial management, and works with the PEL Affiliates on all collaborative statewide financial matters.
Meredith brings more than 25 years of financial, customer service, and management experience to the organization. She previously worked in the City Controller’s Office as the executive assistant to the First Deputy Controller, after spending 10 years in the metal manufacturing and distribution industry. She is a graduate of Mastbaum Area Vocational Technical High School in Philadelphia. Meredith lives with her husband and daughter in Pennsauken, NJ.
Director of Shared Solutions
Mariya Khandros is the Director of Shared Solutions at the Economy League. Her primary responsibility is to oversee the development and implementation of the Anchor Procurement Initiative, a project focused on increasing local purchasing by Philadelphia’s hospitals, universities and other major employers with the goal of creating jobs and reducing poverty.
Prior to joining the Economy League, Mariya was an Economic Policy Analyst at the Office of the Philadelphia City Controller, where she supervised the analysis of the Five Year Plan, as well as other research projects focused on Philadelphia’s tax and economic policy. Additionally, she held positions with the Urban Affairs Committee at the Pennsylvania House of Representatives, NorthEast Treatment Centers, the Pennsylvania Real Estate Investment Trust (PREIT), and A.T. Kearney (a management consulting firm).
Mariya holds a Master of Public Administration from the Fels Institute of Government, a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School of Businesses, and a B.A. in International Studies from the University of Pennsylvania’s College of Arts and Sciences. Mariya lives with her husband in West Philadelphia.
Cathy is a project manager at the Economy League. Prior to joining the Economy League, Cathy worked as a planner for the Strategic Research department of the Urban Redevelopment Authority in Singapore. Collaborating with government agencies, research institutes and academia, she drove and administered R&D initiatives on innovative solutions to support the planning and development of infrastructure to adapt to changing demographics and an aging population. Projects included analysis of the mobility patterns of the elderly, prototyping engaging community spaces, and improving sensor technology for telehealth in the home. Cathy holds a B.A. in Economics and minor in Transportation and Logistics from Northwestern University, and a Master in Urban Planning from Harvard University. She lives with her husband in Center City Philadelphia.
Managing Director, Investor Relations
Sara joined the Economy League in 2011. As managing director of investor relations, she oversees all of the organization’s development functions, including the annual corporate/institutional appeal for investment contributions, the recruitment of board of directors’ members, individual donations and event sponsorship.
Prior to joining the organization, Sara held senior development positions at White-Williams Scholars (now Philadelphia Futures), a nonprofit focused on providing academic and financial support to high-achieving Philadelphia public high school students from low-income families, and the American Heart Association. Before coming to the nonprofit sector, she spent 20 years in media ad sales and marketing with Fox, CBS, Comcast, Radio One and Metro Newspapers.
Sara holds a BA in communications from Temple University. She is active in her in South Jersey community, serving as a deacon at her church, Victory in Christ Christian Center, and as board trustee of the Victory Group, a community-based nonprofit located in Westville.
John joined the Economy League as a project manager in the summer of 2016. Prior to joining the Economy League, John served as an associate with Rosen Consulting Group, an economic and real estate consulting firm in Berkeley, CA. In that capacity, he conducted research on trends across U.S. metro areas and industries for investors, developers, and nonprofit organizations. John also held previous positions in the Boston area with the Boston Redevelopment Authority, Tufts University and The Neighborhood Developers. He holds a BA in economics and international relations from Boston University and an MA in Urban and Environmental Policy and Planning from Tufts University. John lives with his wife in Conshohocken.
SENIOR EXECUTIVE FELLOW
Robert J. Jones, Esq.
Bob Jones is a former Economy League board member and is currently Of Counsel at Saul Ewing, LLP. During his 40-plus year career, Jones has served as bond counsel, underwriter's counsel, and special counsel to a variety of clients in the implementation and financing of major capital projects for public and nonprofit entities. Jones writes and speaks frequently on a wide variety of public finance topics. He is a regular discussion leader at the annual Bond Attorney Winter Workshop and frequently speaks at programs sponsored by the Government Finance Officers Association, the National and Pennsylvania Associations of Bond Lawyers, the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development, and the Municipal Bond Club of Philadelphia.