Dean ObermarkSenior Data Analyst, Los Angeles
Dean works on research, data science, and technical assistance projects related to homelessness in Los Angeles, with the aim of co-creating a more just, humane, and responsive homeless services system. He has co-authored policy reports and academic research on racial (in)equity in housing programs and the criminal legal system, as well as evaluation research on homelessness programs. His work has been used by program administrators and policymakers, as well as cited by President Barack Obama. While Dean’s work typically uses data science and quantitative research methods, he has experience and significant interest in blending quantitative and qualitative data and methods, and in identifying and dismantling white supremacist thinking within research and data science approaches.
Motivated by wide-ranging and interdisciplinary interests, Dean studied philosophy and economics as an undergraduate at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. While completing a Masters in Public Policy and Administration (also at the University of Missouri–St. Louis), Dean began his career in local government, but found he was more interested in the work his research partners were doing than his own, which ignited his interest in public policy research. At the Urban Institute, he worked on large-scale data, research, and evaluation projects across the United States focused on policing and the criminal legal system, but he missed the local and community-based focus of his government role. At CPL he has found balance–doing research and data work that addresses the most pressing policy problems in his own much-loved community, Los Angeles.
Outside of work, Dean spends his time walking his dog (Cal, the unofficial CPL mascot), overfilling containers and pots with native plants, overpaying for obsolete media like jazz records, and adoring the people around him–especially his partner.