M.S. Public Policy and Management, University of Washington, 2016
M.A. Applied Economics, Johns Hopkins University, 2009
B.S. Economics, Truman State University, 2006

Sarah Charnes began her Ph.D. studies in Public Policy and Management at the Daniel J. Evans School of Public Policy and Governance in 2014. Previously, Sarah worked for seven years as a macroeconomist in the Office of Economic Policy (Office of Macroeconomic Analysis) at the U.S. Department of the Treasury in Washington, D.C., a position she took after interning there during the junior year of her undergraduate studies. Sarah gained invaluable managerial experience during her time at the Treasury Department, which included periodically serving as the Acting Director for the Office of Macroeconomic Analysis. While at the Treasury Department, she obtained a Master of Arts in Applied Economics from Johns Hopkins University, with a concentration in quantitative methods and a certificate in forecasting practice. Sarah earned a Bachelor of Science in Economics from Truman State University, and studied abroad at the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Sarah's doctoral work focuses upon the intersection of social policy and food policy in the United States. She is primarily interested in issues related to food insecurity and hunger among low-income and other vulnerable populations. She is a trainee within the UW's Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology (CSDE). In 2016, Sarah attended the Institute for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research at Syracuse University (Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs). Sarah's dissertation work is supported in part by a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service and a dissertation fellowship from the UW's West Coast Poverty Center.

Anti-Poverty Policy
Demography and Ecology
Quantitative Methods
Social Policy
Social Policy Implementation
Urban and Social Policy
Dissertation title: 
Essays on Food Insecurity and Food and Nutrition Assistance Policy in the United States
Recent Publications: 

Allard, Scott W. and Paisner, Sarah Charnes. “The Rise of Suburban Poverty.” Oxford University Press Handbooks Online. September 2016. 

Krueger, Alan B. and Charnes, Sarah. “JOLTS as a Timely Source of Data by Establishment Size.” Monthly Labor Review. May 2011.

Professional service: 

Association for Public Policy Analysis & Management (APPAM) Student Activities Committee, 2019-Present

Ph.D. Committee (Ph.D. Student Representative), 2016-17

Courses taught: 

Predoctoral Instructor for PUBPOL 528: Quantitative Analysis II (Spring 2019)

Guest Lecturer ("The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program") for PUBPOL 570: Foundations of Social Policy (Winter 2019)

Teaching Assistant for PUBPOL 527: Quantitative Analysis I (Winter 2016; Winter 2018; Winter 2019)

Guest Lecturer ("Hypothesis Testing;" "Serial Correlation and Heteroskedasticity") for PUBPOL 528: Quantitative Analysis II (Spring 2018)

Guest Lecturer ("Hypothesis Testing") for PUBPOL 527: Quantitative Analysis I (Winter 2018)

Teaching Assistant for PUBPOL 528: Quantitative Analysis II (Spring 2016; Spring 2018)

Teaching Assistant for PUBPOL 516: Economics for Policy Analysis and Management I (Fall 2015)

TA Workshop Facilitator ("Grading Short-Answer Questions on Homework, Exams, or Lab Reports") for UW's Center for Teaching and Learning's TA Conference on Teaching and Learning (September 2018; September 2016)

Working Papers: 

Allard, Scott W.; Wathen, Maria V.; and Charnes, Sarah E. “Grocery Shopping and Access to Food Retailers in Metropolitan Detroit.”


Research Funding:

  • Co-Investigator, "Exploring Household Food Outcomes Among the Elderly, the Disabled, and Residents of Suburban and Rural Communities." Cooperative Agreement with the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Economic Research Service. (With Scott W. Allard, Principal Investigator.) 2017-19.
  • West Coast Poverty Center (University of Washington) Dissertation Fellowship, Summer 2018. (National Poverty Research Center Dissertation Fellowship awarded by the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin-Madison with funding from the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.)

Teaching Awards:

  • Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award, Academic Year 2017-18 (selected by Evans School students)


  • Certificate of Completion, Institute for Qualitative and Multi-Method Research, Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs, Syracuse University, June 2016
Dissertation Committee Members: 
Scott W. Allard (chair)
Rachel Fyall
Jennifer Otten (School of Public Health)
Jacob L. Vigdor
Major Area Paper (MAP) Title: 
Household Food Insecurity and Spatial Access to Food in the United States