Meet the Team

Rumeli Banik Principal Officer

Rumeli Banik is a principal officer with Pew's evidence project. She leads the Transforming Evidence Network's efforts and co-leads the Transforming Evidence Funders Network’s work with global development funders seeking to improve evidence ecosystems in the Global South. Before joining Pew, Banik was the senior program officer for child well-being at the Doris Duke Foundation, where her work involved advancing cross-sector and evidence-based strategies to improve child and family outcomes. She also led research studies on the transition to parenthood, implemented parenting programs, and taught graduate-level courses on leadership and organizational change. Banik holds a bachelor’s degree in child development and biomedical engineering from Tufts University, a master’s in child development, and a doctorate in applied developmental psychology from Fordham University.

Angela Bednarek Project Director

Angela Bednarek directs the evidence project at Pew, which aims to promote and facilitate new ways that research is generated, valued, and used to address pressing challenges across a wide variety of disciplines.

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Ben Miyamoto Manager

Ben Miyamoto is a manager for Pew’s evidence project, leading the Transforming Evidence Funders Network’s (TEFN's) engagement and network management strategies. With TEFN participants, he co-leads work groups focused on improving and tracking the impact of funder practice, strengthening the research base on how research informs policy, practice, and community decision-making to improve outcomes and communications. Before joining Pew, Miyamoto was director of chapter, membership, and learning at the Scholars Strategy Network, a national, chapter-based organization for researchers committed to improving policy and strengthening democracy with research. Miyamoto holds a bachelor’s degree in philosophy and theology from Boston College.

Benjamin Olneck-Brown Officer

Benjamin Olneck-Brown is an officer with Pew's evidence project. In this role, he co-leads the Transforming Evidence Funders Network’s (TEFN) efforts to broaden incentives and build capacity for public impact and engagement in research systems, including fostering partnerships with university leaders and change-makers throughout higher education. He also supports TEFN’s advisory committee and leaders in shaping the network’s strategic direction. Prior to joining Pew, Olneck-Brown worked with state policymakers around the U.S., providing relevant, up-to-date research to inform K-12 education policy. He started his career as a community organizer for a range of issues and electoral campaigns. Olneck-Brown holds a bachelor’s degree in drama and political science from Vassar College and a master’s in public affairs from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Alex Sileo Senior Associate

Alex Sileo is a senior associate with Pew's evidence project, supporting a funder work group on global evidence partnerships and learning opportunities for the Transforming Evidence Network participants. He previously worked on Pew’s results first initiative, facilitating peer learning opportunities among state partners and drafting research publications on using evidence to inform state budget and policy decisions. Before joining Pew, Sileo was a senior research associate at The Forum for Youth Investment, where he researched federal efforts to strengthen evidence use in policy and coordinated events for federal staff to discuss best practices. Sileo holds bachelor's degrees in international affairs and in psychology from the University of Georgia and a master's in public policy from American University.