BDT welcomes New Chief Strategy Officer

Benefits Data Trust (BDT) is pleased to welcome Pauline Abernathy as its inaugural Chief Strategy Officer.

Pauline brings over 25 years of experience in federal and local government, program innovation, and service delivery to the position. Most recently she served as the Executive Vice President of The Institute of College Access & Success, a nonprofit she helped launch 12 years ago. Prior to that, she served as Senior Advisor to Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter, where she helped BDT launch the BenePhilly program, a city-wide collaborative effort to help people meet their basic needs. Additionally, Pauline was the Deputy Director of Health and Human Services Policy at The Pew Charitable Trusts. Prior to joining Pew, she served in senior positions at the U.S. Department of Education and the White House National Economic Council and Domestic Policy Council. She also worked in the U.S. Senate and at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities.

“I am excited for Pauline to join our team given her expertise and dedication to governmental systems change,” said Ginger Zielinksie, President & CEO. “Her experience will help BDT in its mission to create a health and human services system that meets people where they are, and is both comprehensive and cost-effective.”

In her new position as CSO, Pauline will oversee BDT’s strategic growth and lead program innovation to deepen and expand the organization’s impact. Likewise, she will lead BDT’s work to streamline government services through policy-driven systems change. Internally, Pauline will strengthen organizational learning, promote the culture of data-driven decision making, and serve as a bridge between business development and successful programmatic implementation. Under her purview will be the following departments: Programs, Contact Center Operations and Policy.

“I am looking forward to joining BDT’s team to help more people in need receive assistance, and to transform how public benefits are accessed in states across the nation,” said Pauline. “The application process should be a pathway, not an obstacle, to financial stability, health, and a better life.”

Pauline earned her BA from Yale University and a MPP from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She will begin working for Benefits Data Trust on November 1, 2017.