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 current or proposed policies on working families.
PBPC analyzes and disseminates information on short-term budget, policy, and revenue proposals as well as long-term trends and challenges.
PBPC participates in 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.
Sharon Ward, Executive 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.
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.
Christopher Lilienthal, Communications Director
Christopher Lilienthal is the Communications Director for the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC). He holds a BA from La Salle University in Philadelphia. Before joining PBPC in 2008, Chris spent eight years working as a journalist, covering state policy issues and politics for Capitolwire.com and reporting on state courts and the legal profession for the Philadelphia-based Pennsylvania Law Weekly and Legal Intelligencer. Chris also served a year in the Jesuit Volunteer Corps after college and worked in the nonprofit sector in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. At PBPC, Chris works with senior staff to craft PBPC’s communications strategy. He plays a vital role in all PBPC communications activities — serving as a liaison to the state press, helping staff prepare for TV, radio and print interviews, managing the PBPC web site, and writing and editing educational materials and policy analyses.
Kate Atkins, Outreach Coordinator
Kate Atkins is the Outreach Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Budget and Policy Center (PBPC). She holds a BA in sociology and anthropology from Swarthmore College. Before joining PBPC, she directed the Garden State Alliance for a New Economy, a labor-community collaborative in northern New Jersey focused on sustainable economic development. Previously, Kate spent a decade as a community organizer, working primarily on housing and lending issues. Her outreach work with PBPC focuses on engaging a broad range of public, private, and nonprofit stakeholders in the debate over the state budget.
Office: 215-563-5848 x 16
Click here to send an email to PBPC staff.