Meet the Team
Jeff Chapman directs the work of the Pew Charitable Trusts on economic development, which helps states shape economic strategies that are effective, accountable, and fiscally sound.
Robert Zahradnik is policy director for Pew’s work on state fiscal health and economic growth. He supervises initiatives that help states improve the return on investment from economic development tax incentives and better manage revenue projections and volatility.
Josh Goodman is an expert on economic development tax incentives with The Pew Charitable Trusts’ state fiscal health and economic growth project. He was the lead writer for Pew’s first two research reports on tax incentives, Evidence Counts: Evaluating State Tax Incentives for Jobs and Growth and Avoiding Blank Checks: Creating Fiscally Sound State Tax Incentives. He provides technical assistance to lawmakers proposing legislation requiring regular and rigorous evaluation of tax incentives. He also assists state analysts studying the results of tax incentives. Goodman was a staff writer for Stateline, Pew’s daily news service covering state government, and reported on tax and budget issues. Before joining Pew, he was a staff writer at Governing magazine, covering state legislatures, fiscal issues, health care, and transportation, among other topics. He holds a bachelor’s degree in politics from the University of Virginia.
Melissa Maynard is an expert on economic development tax incentives with The Pew Charitable Trusts’ state fiscal health and economic growth project. She provides technical assistance to lawmakers who are proposing legislation that requires regular and rigorous evaluation of tax incentives. She also assists state analysts in studying the results of tax incentives. During her time at Pew, Maynard has researched topics ranging from state government management practices to children’s dental policy. She previously wrote about state policy issues for Governing magazine and for Stateline, a Pew publication that provides analysis on trends in the states. Her work has been featured in The Washington Post, The New York Times, Newsweek, Government Technology, and The Fiscal Times. A native of Michigan, Maynard earned a master’s degree from the University of Missouri School of Journalism. She is currently pursuing a master’s degree in government analytics at Johns Hopkins University.
Chaaron Pearson is a manager with Pew’s economic development tax incentives project, which helps states advance policies that make their incentives effective, accountable, and fiscally sound. She works with policy leaders to identify ways to manage and assess economic development policies and practices, improve data collection and reporting, and develop national standards and best practices that states can adopt. She also provides technical assistance to lawmakers working on tax incentive evaluation and state analysts charged with conducting those evaluations. Before joining Pew, Pearson provided research and analysis on a variety of local and state public policy topics for the membership of the American Chamber of Commerce Executives. She also planned and coordinated education for the government relations division and the Alliance for Regional Stewardship. Pearson holds a bachelor’s degree in economics from the University of Nebraska and a master’s degree in public administration from George Mason University.
Jeffrey S. Thiebert
Jeffrey S. Thiebert is a manager of state fiscal health and economic growth at The Pew Charitable Trusts, which includes projects that seek to strengthen states' fiscal planning, budgeting, and use of tax incentives for economic development. Thiebert works with a team of researchers, policy analysts, journalists, and consultants to provide states with evidence-based tools to improve their economic climates and long-term vitality. Before joining Pew, Thiebert worked for The Concord Coalition as national grassroots director and as northeast regional director. In those positions, he managed the organization’s nationwide volunteer network and public advocacy activities. He has also served as an associate with Masterman & Graham, P.C., practicing law in the trial and appellate courts of the Commonwealth of Virginia. Thiebert holds a B.A. in political science from the University of Georgia and a J.D. from the George Mason University School of Law.