Center for Municipal Finance

Faculty and Staff

Chris Berry
Academic Director, Center for Municipal Finance
Associate Professor, Chicago Harris

Chris Berry's research interests are in the political economy of American local government and the politics of federal spending. He is currently engaged in two major lines of research. The first explores how the institutional design of local government influences political accountability and public policy. The second is an analysis of the ways in which executive and legislative politics influence the geographic distribution of federal outlays. Berry received his BA from Vassar College, Master of Regional Planning (MRP) from Cornell University, and PhD from the Department of Political Science at the University of Chicago. Full Bio

Michael D. Belsky
Executive Director, Center for Municipal Finance
Lecturer, Chicago Harris

Michael D. Belsky has worked in the municipal finance industry for more than three decades. He spent most of his career as Group Managing Director of the Public Finance Group at Fitch Ratings. He was named the top rating agency executive in public finance by institutional investors three years in a row (Smith’s Research and Ratings Review Municipal All Star Team 2005-2007). He also served two terms as a member of the City Council in Highland Park, Illinois (1995–2003) and two terms as Mayor (2003–2011). Under his leadership the city received national recognition in the area of environmental sustainability, budgeting, financial reporting, affordable housing, and local health initiatives. Full Bio


Amanda Kass
Assistant Director, Center for Municipal Finance

Amanda Kass graduated from The Ohio State University with a B.A. in Geography and International Studies, and earned a M.A. from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Prior to joining the Center for Municipal Finance Amanda was the Research Director at the Center for Tax and Budget Accountability in Chicago.

Paula R. Worthington
Senior Lecturer, Chicago Harris

Paula R. Worthington has served as an economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and as a research officer, economic advisor, and senior research economist at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. Her recent service activities include membership on the Metropolitan Planning Council’s Regional Planning and Investments Committee (2010–present); the Illinois Tax Foundation’s Research Advisory Council (2009–present); the Chicago Metropolitan Agency for Planning's Financial Plan Resource Group (2008–2009); and Evanston/Skokie School District 65's Citizens' Budget Committee (2003–2004). Worthington is a seven-time recipient of the Harris School Public Policy Student Association's Best Teacher in a Non-Core Class Award. Full Bio