Our Team

Len Lopoo 125pxLeonard Lopoo serves as director and co-founder of the Maxwell X Lab. Len is also Paul Volcker Chair in Behavioral Economics in the Department of Public Administration and International Affairs and the director of the Center for Policy Research at the Maxwell School, Syracuse University. Len received his Ph.D. from the Harris School of Public Policy Studies at the University of Chicago in 2001, and was a postdoctoral fellow at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton University from 2001-2003. His research centers on policies, programs, and behavioral interventions designed to assist low-income families, and he teaches courses in statistics, program evaluation, and predictive analytics. Len has received funding from a number of federal agencies and foundations, including the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, the National Institute on Aging, the Pew Charitable Trusts, the Smith Richardson Foundation, the United States Department of Agriculture, the Ralph C. Wilson Jr. Foundation, and the Allyn Family Foundation. He is the recipient of numerous awards for his research and teaching, including the Birkhead-Burkhead Teaching Excellence Award twice, an Excellence in Graduate Education Faculty Recognition Award, a Meredith Professors Recognition Award, and the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Prize. 


Hannah Patnaik serves as the managing director of the Maxwell X Lab. Hannah received her Ph.D. from the Maxwell School of Citizenship and Public Affairs at Syracuse University in 2021. Her research is interdisciplinary and centers on evaluating policies and programs that aim to support the well-being of vulnerable populations. Her most recent work is on the impact of community-based climate change adaptation, and evaluation of gender dynamics within community-driven development. Her additional work has focused on material hardship and food insecurity amongst immigrant, disabled, and elderly populations. Previously, Hannah worked at the United Nations Industrial Development Organization establishing key new partnerships with the private sector.

Michelle Kincaid 125 pxMichelle Kincaid is a senior associate in the Maxwell X Lab. Michelle is involved in the development, implementation, and analysis of projects across the Lab’s portfolio. Her responsibilities also include seeking out presentation opportunities for the Lab at conferences. Michelle is also lead mentor and supervisor for the Lab’s team of student research assistants. Previous to joining the X Lab, Michelle worked with a number of nonprofits in the Syracuse area, including the Gifford Foundation, CNY Fair Housing and A Tiny Home for Good. Her work used surveys and data analysis to evaluate programming and advance fundraising strategies. Michelle’s development experience also extends overseas with NGOs in Peru and Chile. Michelle earned her BA in international relations and citizenship and civic engagement with a minor in policy studies at Syracuse University in 2018.  

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Katrina Fiacchi serves as administrative specialist in the Maxwell X Lab. She has worked in the Center for Policy Research at Syracuse University since 2013 and joined the X Lab team soon after it was founded in 2017. Katrina's main job duties in the X Lab include financial management of each project, expense reimbursement processing, and other day to day administrative tasks. She is also part of the Maxwell X Lab research assistant search committee. Katrina earned her BS in business administration from The College at Brockport, SUNY in 2011. 

Research Assistants

Geraghty_Juliette_RA_Spring2021Juliette Geraghty is a senior majoring in policy studies and economics with a minor in data analytics. She is a member of the Renée Crown University Honors Program and the Economics Honor Society. Prior to joining the Lab, Juliette was a research consultant for Home HeadQuarters and an intern with the Albany County Department of Social Services. On campus, she works with the Office of Health Promotion and as an Honors Program Ambassador.

Cooper_ShawverCooper Shawver is a senior majoring in sport analytics and economics with a minor in finance. Cooper has taken extensive coursework in statistics, economics, and data analysis. He and a team of student researchers recently won the SABR Analytics Conference Case Competition, for their investigation of baseball statistics to understand pitcher productivity. Cooper is also an analyst for the SU Women’s Basketball team, an Economics tutor for CLASS. 

   See our research assistant alumni.