Robin Phinney is the president of Rise Research, a research and evaluation firm focused on helping communities thrive. Formerly, she was a research director at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs and a research associate in the Department of Political Science at the University of Minnesota.
In her current work, Robin leads a series of research projects involving housing instability, data sharing in Minnesota, innovation in the public sector, and community engagement. She has worked with a diverse array of stakeholders both nationally and across Minnesota, including state and local governments, nonprofit organizations, research organizations, and policy leaders.
Robin is a political scientist and policy scholar by training, with expertise in social policy, the policy process, and political advocacy. She holds a BA in Political Science and Communication Studies from UCLA and a PhD in Public Policy and Political Science from the University of Michigan.
She is the author of Strange Bedfellows: Interest Group Coalitions, Diverse Resources, and Influence in American Social Policy (Cambridge University Press), a book that investigates collaborative lobbying and influence on behalf of low-income populations; as well as numerous articles and policy reports on nonprofit advocacy, workforce development, child care and economic assistance, and housing instability among low-income families.
In her spare time, Phinney can be found cooking, camping, and corralling her two young boys.