Jeffrey Liebman, Director
Jeffrey Liebman, the Robert W. Scrivner Professor of Public Policy, became the Taubman Center's director in July of 2014. Liebman teaches courses in public sector economics and American economic policy and focuses his research on tax and budget policy, social insurance, poverty, income inequality, and social innovation. Recent research has examined the impacts of government programs such as the Earned Income Tax Credit, Social Security, housing vouchers, SNAP, and Disability Insurance. Jeffrey also directs the Harvard Kennedy School’s Government Performance Lab and the Rappaport Institute for Greater Boston. During the first two years of the Obama Administration, Liebman worked at OMB, first as Executive Associate Director and Chief Economist and then as Acting Deputy Director. From 1998 to 1999, Liebman served as Special Assistant to the President for economic policy and coordinated the Clinton Administration's Social Security reform technical working group. Liebman received his BA from Yale University and his MA and Ph.D. in economics from Harvard.
Rafael Carbonell, Executive Director
Rafael Carbonell became the Taubman Center Executive Director in August 2017, where he works to advance its mission to support public sector leaders in improving the governance of states, metropolitan areas, and cities. Rafael previously served as Deputy Director of the City of Boston’s Office of Business Development, where he implemented a new small business innovation initiative and led the development of the City’s first-ever small business strategic plan, which was unveiled by Mayor Marty Walsh in 2016. Prior to that, Rafael helped launch, and then as Executive Vice President ran Thrive, the first regional economic development enterprise for the eight-county Madison, Wisconsin region. Rafael also previously served as Director of Regional Economic Development for the Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce, and as Director of Marketing & Business Development for Livra.com, a technology startup he helped launch in Buenos Aires, Argentina, which is now one of Latin America’s largest online market research platforms. Rafael holds a B.S. in Marketing from Boston College, was a Ford Foundation “Regional Sustainable Development Fellow,” and is fluent in Spanish.
Amy Mahler became the Director of Government Engagement for the Taubman Center for State and Local Government in July of 2023, where she works to connect state, county, and local government with Kennedy School resources, students, and opportunities. She served in Boston City Hall and the Commonwealth of Massachusetts since 2013, working on communications, community engagement, policy, constituent services, and civic innovation. As a Rappaport/Boston Urban Scholar, she earned her Master’s of Public Administration from HKS in 2021. Prior to her time in government, she worked in campaigns and the retail tech sector.
Mahler graduated from Boston University with a bachelor’s degree in Communications. She is originally from South Florida, got her start in politics through LGBTQ+ activism and school funding, and lives in Dorchester with her husband and their dog Pigeon. In her spare time, she serves on the Board of Generation Citizen Massachusetts.