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Lavea Brachman

Visiting Fellow
Brookings Metro

Lavea Brachman, a visiting fellow at Brookings Metro, spent five years as vice president of programs at the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation, a spend-down foundation that is based in Detroit and operates in the metropolitan regions of Detroit, Michigan and Buffalo and Rochester, New York At the foundation, she directed two portfolios—Young Adults and Working Families, and Entrepreneurship and Economic Development—developing investment strategies advancing upward mobility to middle-skill, middle-wage jobs and promoting inclusive economic growth. Recently, Lavea has focused on developing systems-based workforce training strategies, building inclusive entrepreneurship ecosystems for minority and women small businesses, and developing and overseeing place-based inclusive economic growth initiatives.

Prior to joining the foundation, Lavea co-founded and spent a decade as executive director of the Greater Ohio Policy Center, leading the organization’s growth as an influential, nonpartisan “think and do” tank championing urban revitalization and sustainable and equitable growth. 

Lavea graduated with honors from Harvard College, holds a law degree from the University of Chicago Law School, and earned a master’s degree in city planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.