Editorial and Communications

Halah Ahmad

Vice President, Lead Researcher for Policy

As the Vice President, Lead Researcher for Policy until 2023, Halah managed JFI’s work with grassroots organizations and policymakers, as well as engagement with journalists, academics, and peer research groups. She also oversaw JFI’s nonpartisan analysis of legislation that intersects with our core research areas. On the Editorial Team, Halah worked to further develop JFI’s policy and communication strategies, raising the profile of JFI’s research to better inform social policy.

Halah received a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Cambridge as the Lionel de Jersey Harvard Scholar, and an honors degree in the Comparative Study of Religion and Sociology from Harvard. She brings to JFI years of experience in policy research and analysis, having completed the Coro Fellowship in Public Affairs in San Francisco, and worked on issues of urban inequality and displacement in Milwaukee, Chicago, the West Bank, Albania, Greece, Berlin and elsewhere.

Related Publication Series

From Idea to Reality: Getting to Guaranteed Income

A series on how to implement guaranteed income in the U.S. 2020-2022 With guaranteed income, sometimes referred to as UBI or basic income, increasingly in the policy mainstream, and governments and foundations experimenting with cash transfers as a means for blunting the impact of Covid-19, much remains unknown about how to design such policies most effectively. Drawn from several contributors and with guidance from experts across a range of related disciplines, this series aims to envision what comes next.

Messaging Guaranteed Income

In this special project, JFI researchers have taken a broad range of approaches to the question of guaranteed income in the public eye. In a U.S. nationally representative survey launched several months into the Covid-19 pandemic, we assess how cross-cutting socio-demographic and -economic characteristics affect support for basic income policies, in particular among those facing increasing economic precarity, and how the specifics of the policy—i.e. financing, eligibility and targeting—are viewed by partisan groups. We’ve reviewed the literature on framing and messaging guaranteed income, and hosted international scholars on building support for guaranteed income across political and cultural contexts.

Policy Microsimulations

Microsimulation is a commonly used tool in policy analysis to examine the poverty, distributional, and cost implications of changes to taxes and transfers. It allows us to explore the implications of benefit design (e.g. phase-ins and phase-outs) and financing choices. Although not set up to look at general equilibrium effects like a true macroeconomic model, a microsimulation gives insight into the initial, “gross” impact of a policy change.