Lucy S. Gorham

Executive Director
919-843-3976 | lucy_gorham@unc.edu
CV | High-resolution Photo

Executive Director Lucy Gorham conducts research and analysis to understand what products, services and public policies hold promise for increasing the economic stability and upward mobility of low- and moderate-wealth families and communities.


  • Asset-building programs and policy
  • Wealth and earnings inequality
  • Income policy
  • Tax credit structure
  • Tax-time savings
  • Consumer finance


  • Ph.D., Urban Studies and Planning, 1998, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Master of Urban Studies and Planning, 1984, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • B.A., Human Biology, Stanford University, 1977

About Lucy Gorham

Lucy Gorham is executive director of the UNC Center for Community Capital. Her work includes a focus on economic mobility and inequality, financial inclusion and access to high quality financial products and services for the underserved, affordable housing  and the importance of access to key asset-building opportunities across the lifespan, such as homeownership, higher education and retirement savings.

Gorham brings diverse experience in the design, implementation  and evaluation of financial capability programs and policy. Her past research considered the changing shape of the U.S. labor market for less-educated workers and its impact on growing economic inequality; trends in wealth and earnings inequality in urban and rural geographies; best practices in savings and asset-building programs and policy; post-purchase housing counseling; and the design, utilization  and impact of the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Prior to joining the center, she spent nine years designing and implementing free tax return filing and asset-building programs at MDC, a Durham, N.C. nonprofit.  Before that, she conducted research through the UNC Center for Urban and Regional Studies, provided staffing for the North Carolina Rural Prosperity Task Force, and held professional staff positions in the U.S. Congress on the Joint Economic Committee and the House Subcommittee on Intergovernmental Relations and Human Resources.

Gorham serves on the boards of several nonprofits, including the national steering committee of the CFED Assets and Opportunity Network, North Carolina Assets Alliance, IDA and Asset Building Collaborative of North Carolina, and Center for Economic Justice.

She holds a bachelor’s degree in human biology from Stanford University and a master’s degree and Ph.D.in urban studies and planning from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.





The UNC Center for Community Capital conducts research and policy analysis on ways to make financial services work better for more people and communities.


© 2017 UNC Center for Community Capital
1700 Martin Luther King Blvd., Suite 129 • CB#3452, Chapel Hill NC 27599-3452 • 919.843.2140 • 877.783.2359 • communitycapital@unc.edu