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Alvaro Cortes, Ph.D.

Principal Associate, Social & Economic Policy and Division Director of Reputational Capital

Alvaro Cortes, Ph.D. Alvaro Cortes, Ph.D.
Alvaro Cortes is a Principal Associate at Abt Associates, leading several high-profile projects that focus on vulnerable populations and neighborhoods. Dr. Cortes has extensive experience working with homeless populations, producing annual reports to the U.S. Congress on the extent and nature of homelessness and leading several rigorous evaluations of programs designed to improve the economic and health outcomes of program participants. For many years, Cortes has worked on numerous projects that are designed to assist both federal agencies and grantees in operationalizing, measuring and reporting performance outcomes.
Cortes has contributed to several other important national studies, including an evaluation of the federal government’s response to the foreclosure crisis, several homeownership studies that focus on Hispanics and Native Americans and an evaluation of the nation’s welfare-to-work program.
He has a Ph.D. in Urban Politics and Policy and an M.A. in American Government and Politics from Wayne State University. He has a B.A. in Political Science and Philosophy from the University of Michigan.
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  • Vulnerable populations, including homeless populations
  • Neighborhood dynamics
  • Study design, program assessment and evaluation
  • Poverty-related policy and policy analysis
  • Languages: Spanish (fluent)

Key Projects

  • The Evaluation of the Transitional Living Program, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  • The Annual Homeless Assessment Report, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  • The Evaluation of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
  • Improving Homeownership Opportunities for Hispanic Families, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

Selected Publications

  • Spader, Jon, Alvaro Cortes, Jenny Schuetz, Chris Redfearn, Larry Buron, Kimberly Burnett, Anna Jefferson, Jennifer Lewis, and Michael DiDomenico. “The Impact of the Neighborhood Stabilization Program on Neighborhoods.” (Forthcoming). U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development: Washington DC.
  • Cortes, Alvaro, Lauren Dunton, Meghan Henry, Howard Rolston and Jill Khadduri. (2012). “Linking Human Services and Housing Assistance for Homeless Families and Families at Risk of Homelessness.” U.S. Department of Health and Human Services: Washington DC.
  • Cortes, Alvaro, Jill Khadduri, and Dennis Culhane. (2008 - 2014). The Annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress. Bethesda, MD: Abt Associates, Inc.
  • Cortes, Alvaro, Ken Lam, and David Fein. (2008). Family Life Cycle and Longevity in Housing Assistance. Cityscape 10(1): 117-156.
  • Cortes, Alvaro, Christopher E. Herbert, Erin Wilson, and Elizabeth Clay. (2007). Improving Homeownership Opportunities for Hispanic Families: A Review of the Literature. Cityscape 9(2): 53-92.
  • Cortes, Alvaro. (2004). The Impact of Urban Universities on Neighborhood Housing Markets: An Empirical Analysis. Urban Affairs Review 39(3): 342-375.
  • Galster, George C. and Alvaro Cortes. (2003). Spatially Concentrated Poverty, Neighborhood Social Problems, and Assisted Housing Programs. Placing Changes: Perspectives on Place in Housing and Urban Studies, Craig M. Gurney (ed.). London, UK: Ashgate Publishers.
  • Galster, George C., Roberto G. Quercia, Alvaro Cortes and Ron Mallega. (2003). The Fortunes of Poor Neighborhoods. Urban Affairs Review, 39(2): 205-227.