About the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center
Launched formally in 2007, the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC) is a nonpartisan, statewide policy research project that provides independent, credible analysis on state tax, budget, and related policy matters, with attention to the impact of policy proposals on working families.
PBPC’s vision is that all Pennsylvania citizens will enjoy a system of taxation that is fair and progressive, and that raises sufficient revenue to provide quality public services and economic prosperity.
PBPC provides information and analysis on short-term budget, policy, and revenue proposals as well as long-term trends and challenges.
PBPC is part of a national network of similar organizations that exist in over half the states as part of the State Fiscal Analysis Initiative coordinated by the Washington, D.C.-based Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.
PBPC is a project of the Keystone Research Center.
PBPC's Advisory Committee
Learn more about PBPC's Advisory Committee.
412 North 3rd Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101
1709 Benjamin Franklin Parkway, Sixth Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Phone: 215-563-5848 x 16
Click here to send an email to PBPC staff.
Sharon Ward, Director
Sharon Ward is the Executive Director of the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC). Sharon received her BA from the State University of New York at Albany, and pursued an MS in Political Science with a concentration in statistics and methodology at the Rockefeller Institute of Public Policy. Sharon has worked as an advocate on behalf of children, consumers, and the environment for more than 20 years. She was the Director for Advocacy and Child Care Policy at Public Citizens for Children and Youth and has worked as a community organizer and issue advocate for the New York Public Interest Research Group and Citizen Action of New York. In 1989, she was elected with a slate of reform candidates to the Albany City Council, where she served for eight years, and chaired the Finance and Environmental Committees. At PBPC, Sharon plays a vital role in educating policymakers, community groups, and the public on state budget and tax policies. She has authored numerous reports and policy briefs, regularly delivers testimony on policy matters to legislative committees, and is often sought out by reporters as an expert on state policy matters. Sharon also has worked with various coalitions to advocate for health care and education reforms, to support a fair and equitable tax system, and to advance policies to reduce poverty.
Jeff Garis, Outreach and Engagement Director
Jeff Garis is the Outreach and Engagement Director for the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC). Jeff received a BA in English from Messiah College, and has more than a decade and a half of experience working with advocacy organizations in Pennsylvania. Before joining PBPC in 2013, he worked with diverse coalitions for several years as the field director for Pennsylvania Voice and the state political director for America Votes. He spent four years as the executive director of Penn Action, and served as the director of a statewide death penalty reform organization for seven years.
Ellen Lyon, Communications Director
Ellen Lyon is the Communications Director at the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center. She received her Bachelor of Science degree from Georgetown University. Before joining PBPC in 2014, Ellen was the Media Relations and Publications Manager for the Pennsylvania Coalition Against Domestic Violence. Prior to that, she was a newspaper reporter for 15 years, the last 11 years at The Patriot-News in Harrisburg. She was in the Patriot’s Capitol Bureau from 2000-2002.
Waslala Miranda, Education Policy Analyst
Waslala Miranda received her Master’s degree in Public Policy and Management from the Heinz College at Carnegie Mellon and her Bachelor’s in International Relations from Wellesley College. Prior to moving to Pennsylvania, Waslala spent a decade working as a DREAM Act Activist, lobbying federal and state officials on behalf of undocumented students. She also helped change city policy in her hometown to allow all eligible undocumented immigrants to receive the police certification necessary to apply for the U-Visa which provides legal status to undocumented victims of serious crime who assist law enforcement. Waslala understands the plight of the undocumented as she was once undocumented herself.
Michael Wood, Research Director
Michael Wood is the Research Director for the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC). He holds an MPA from Penn State University and a BBA from Western Michigan University. Before joining PBPC in 2007, Mike was the Budget Manager for the City of Harrisburg. He also spent a number of years with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, as a Revenue Forecasting Analyst at the Department of Revenue, a Pennsylvania Management Intern, and as an Accountant in the Comptroller’s Office. Mike has authored several research papers and policy briefs for PBPC, including The Common Good: What Pennsylvania’s Tax and Budget Policies Mean to You, Responsible Growth: Protecting the Public Interest with a Natural Gas Severance Tax, and Gross Profits: Why Pennsylvania Should Enact the Oil Company Profits Tax.
Click here to send an email to PBPC staff.