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CSDE Seminar Series

Population Research Discovery Seminars

Panel: Social Demography of Homelessness

Natasha Rivers, Sustainability & Measurement Program Manager, BECU
Gregg Colburn, Assistant Professor, UW College of Built Environments
Seema Clifasefi, Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Co-Director, Harm Reduction Research & Treatment Center

12:30-1:30 PM PT


West Coast Poverty Center and Urban@UW

Natasha Rivers works as a program manager and consultant of demographic data. She is civically engaged and has served on several community boards. Natasha earned her PhD in Geography from UCLA and completed two post-doctoral research associate appointments, one at the Minnesota Population Center and the other at the University of Washington’s Center for Studies in Demography and Ecology. Dr. Rivers is a partner with Social Venture Partners and Co-Chaired SVP’s Fast Pitch 2018. She is a Leadership Tomorrow alum and Co-Founder of She is currently on the Board of Trustees of the Seattle Children’s Theatre and Board of Directors for 4Culture. She is the former district demographer for Seattle Public Schools, and now works for BECU as a Program Manager – Sustainability and Measurement.

Gregg Colburn is an assistant professor in the Department of Real Estate at the University of Washington. In his research, Gregg studies the housing outcomes of households with limited financial resources. This research includes projects focused on the effects of the Housing Choice Voucher program, the seasonality of family homelessness, the prevalence of housing cost burden, and the effects of housing stock expansion. Gregg is actively engaged with policymakers, nonprofit organizations, and housing developers on matters related to housing and homelessness in the Puget Sound region. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs, entering academia after seventeen years working in the private sector as an investment banker and private equity professional.

Seema L. Clifasefi, PhD, is an associate professor and codirector of the Harm Reduction Research and Treatment (HaRRT) Center in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the University of Washington-Harborview Medical Center in Seattle, WA. Her research lies at the intersection of substance use, mental health, criminal justice and housing policy. Over the past decade, she has worked collaboratively with affected communities to develop, evaluate and disseminate programs and interventions that aim to reduce substance related harm and improve quality of life.