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An eighth-generation Texan, Don is a founding member of the Urban Institute’s Policy Advisory Group, an emerging practice to accelerate the adoption and implementation of evidence-based policymaking at the state and local level across Urban’s portfolio. His projects include Cities of Learning, a multi-city, youth digital badging initiative, an assessment of JP Morgan Chase Foundation’s investments in Detroit and financial capability, and an effort to create a strategic framework for state and local economic development policy in partnership with the Laura and John Arnold Foundation. He is also leading a inclusive policies workgroup for the US Partnership for Economic Mobility, a joint effort between Urban and the Gates Foundation.
Baylor’s policy background includes asset building, higher education, economic development, social services, and the workforce system. From 2004-2014, he worked at the Center for Public Policy Priorities as a lobbyist, policy analyst, and director of OpportunityTexas, a statewide initiative to increase income and financial stability, create pathways to good jobs, and promote savings. He published numerous reports and studies to expand economic opportunity through better policies on economic incentives, consumer financial protection, career pathways, household savings, and labor markets.
Baylor successfully advocated and designed state legislation to expand college savings, curb predatory lending, integrate K-8 math with financial education curriculum, increase transparency for economic incentives, and create a statewide endowment to improve household economic security. He also created the Texas Regional Opportunity Index, a county and regional-based tool to measure educational attainment, economic mobility and financial security.
He currently serves on the Consumer Advisory Board for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and as a senior adviser to the Insight Center for Community Economic Development and the United Way for Greater Austin. He is a current founding board member of RAISE Texas and the Texas Match the Promise Foundation.
His prior positions include legislative director for New York ACORN and senior consultant for KPMG’s Public Sector Consulting’s State and Local practice.
He earned a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Georgetown University and a Master of Arts in African American & Southern History with honors from The University of Wisconsin at Madison.