Aparna RameshPolicy Director for Social Safety Net, Berkeley

Aparna Ramesh

Aparna Ramesh is the Policy Director for Social Safety Net at the California Policy Lab. She leads a portfolio of research aimed at improving access to and measuring impacts of the social safety net in California, including access to programs such as CalFresh and CalWORKs, and tax credits like the Child Tax Credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit. During the pandemic, she led CPL’s research on the take-up of anti-poverty tax credits and stimulus payments among low-income Californians. She has co-authored several CPL reports on gaps in the social safety-net in California and is currently leading a series of projects to evaluate the effectiveness of pilots that reduce barriers to tax filing and claiming anti-poverty tax credits.

Aparna works closely with state departments to build and execute research agendas around California’s safety net. She leads the linkage of several inter-departmental administrative datasets, including one of the nation’s only linkages between safety-net and tax data during the pandemic, which helped policymakers better deliver pandemic-era stimulus to those who needed aid the most. Her work also focuses on the use of administrative data to improve service delivery and help reduce barriers to access the safety net.

Aparna has over a decade of working with federal, state, and local government departments to build a culture of data-driven decision making. Prior to CPL, Aparna worked at NORC at the University of Chicago, Deloitte Consulting, and the Boston Mayor’s Office of New Urban Mechanics. She holds a Master of Public Affairs from Princeton University and a bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University. She currently serves as an advisor for the Benefits Access and Equity initiative, which envisions a social safety net that provides equitable access to benefits for those who need help.

Aparna was born and raised in California. As the daughter of immigrants to this state, she understands the promise of California and the structural barriers that marginalize vulnerable Californians. She is passionate about serving the communities she grew up in and making California an equitable place where all Californians can thrive.

contact details

2521 Channing Way, Berkeley, CA 94720

Stay Informed