2022 Alumni Impact Award Winner: Kelly McElwain, MPP

2022 Alumni Impact Awards: Recognizes School of Public Policy (SPP) alumni (MPA, MPA Fellows, MPP and MASR) at any stage in their career who have made a significant recent contribution to their field. Nominees may work in any sector; public, private, or nonprofit. Examples may include but are not limited to driving a meaningful program outcome, contributing to new legislation, innovating a process or program, achieving a fundraising goal, brokering a partnership, etc.

Kelly McElwain, MPP ‘19, Research Analyst, PAHRC

Kelly McElwain, a 2019 UConn Master of Public Policy (MPP) graduate, is a Senior Research Analyst at the Public and Affordable Housing Research Corporation (PAHRC), where she has spent nearly the past decade advancing the preservation of affordable housing through research and improved data accessibility. Kelly was nominated for her Alumni Impact Award because has been instrumental in the development of the Housing Preservation Database, an essential tool in CT and across the country for tracking the supply of affordable housing units.

Kelly has coauthored over a dozen reports on affordable housing programs in collaboration with other nonprofits. Her research has examined affordable housing preservation needs and programs, exposure of housing to natural hazards, the characteristics of housing assistance recipients, and initiatives affordable housing providers are engaged in to boost resident outcomes. She makes affordable housing data more accessible by organizing webinars, consulting, and building mapping tools to help practitioners apply her research to their work. Notably, she leads efforts to collect, clean, and disseminate data on federally assisted rental properties in the National Housing Preservation Database. Her work has helped localities track their affordable housing stock, make a case for preservation efforts, and evaluate their investment strategy. Before joining PAHRC, Kelly assisted nonprofits on research projects, donor stewardship, and grant writing as an intern and consultant. Kelly holds a Master of Public Policy and a Graduate Certificate in Survey Research from the University of Connecticut, and a B.S. in policy studies and biotechnology from Syracuse University.