Introducing Policy Development Division Director Jennifer Turnham
Jennifer C. Turnham, Director for the Office of Policy Development.
Hello! For those who don’t know me, I am the new Director of the Policy Development Division in the Office of Policy Development and Research (PD&R). The Policy Development Division consists of nine analysts who support PD&R in developing and recommending new or revised programs; developing, analyzing, and reviewing legislation, policy statements, reports, and budget analyses; coordinating the development of national housing and economic development policy with other federal agencies; producing the biennial Worst Case Housing Needs: Report to Congress; and engaging in various other activities that ensure that HUD’s policy decisions are consistent with and based on available evidence and research.
I came to PD&R in September 2020 after a career of nearly 20 years researching housing and community development issues on behalf of HUD and other clients. I am thrilled to have landed my dream job, where I can put my years of research experience into practice helping to shape and influence policy. In my previous job I worked on several research studies that had major policy implications, such as the Housing Choice Voucher Program Administrative Fee Study and the Supportive Services (IWISH) Demonstration. I feel honored to be able to continue to advance the policy implications of PD&R’s research, working alongside a first-rate set of housing experts and colleagues.
Contributing to HUD’s Learning Agenda
One of the important functions of the Policy Development Division is helping ensure that HUD complies with the requirements of the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act (“Evidence Act”) of 2018. The Evidence Act requires federal agencies to launch a major new research and evaluation planning effort called the Learning Agenda. PD&R is taking the lead in producing HUD’s first Learning Agenda, covering fiscal years 2022 through 2026 aligned with the Department’s updated Strategic Plan. The Learning Agenda will be forward looking and frame a multiyear agenda ensuring a robust pipeline of research, including research for which HUD expects to seek Congressional funding.
The starting point for HUD’s Learning Agenda is PD&R’s Research Roadmap, last updated in 2020. PD&R has developed the Roadmap since 2014 with input and support from practitioners, advocates, researchers, and policymakers at the federal, state, and local levels. This summer, PD&R’s Learning Agenda team is looking to conduct another round of stakeholder engagement to supplement and update the information collected for the Roadmap to ensure that the forthcoming Learning Agenda is responsive to the latest policy issues and research needs.
To that end, I invite you to review the questions, themes, and projects proposed in the Research Roadmap: 2020 Update and give us feedback on what we are missing, what needs to be changed or updated about our current evidence building plans, and what research questions HUD needs to answer. If you would like to provide your input, please send it to us using the email address HUDLearningAgenda@huduser.gov by July 31, 2021. We look forward to hearing from you!