Expertise: Poverty, child welfare, family economic security

Alexandra Cawthorne Gaines is the vice president of the Poverty to Prosperity Program at American Progress. Prior to her time at American Progress, Gaines directed the human services program within the Economic Opportunity Division at the National Governors Association (NGA). In this capacity, she provided leadership and strategic direction to the NGA’s human services program, which focuses on state policies and programs that promote the economic and social well-being of families, children, individuals, and communities. Prior to her time at the NGA, she served as research associate for the Anti-Poverty and Women’s Health and Rights programs at American Progress.

Gaines has a career distinguished by service to organizations that advocate on behalf of children and families with low incomes. She has served in advisory roles to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, the Corporation for Supportive Housing, Results for America, and the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute. She currently serves on the board of directors of the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities.

Before her focus on state policy, Gaines advocated for federal solutions to the issues that create barriers to economic success. She also served as a legislative assistant with the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs in the U.S. Senate. She has held positions in several nonprofits, including the Citizens Commission on Civil Rights and the Poverty and Race Research Action Council, where she assisted in the development of advocacy strategies around education and affordable housing policy. She began her career in Washington, D.C., as a Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellow with the Congressional Hunger Center.

Gaines earned her bachelor’s degree at Vassar College and a master’s degree in legislative affairs from The George Washington University Graduate School of Political Management.

By Alexandra Cawthorne Gaines
The Basic Facts About Women in PovertyCenter for American ProgressAugust 3, 2020
Public Health Requires an Extraordinarily Aggressive Economic Response to Coronavirus Immediately—One That’s Larger Than What Many ImagineCenter for American ProgressMarch 17, 2020
We Can’t Let the Trump Administration Pretend Poverty AwayInsideSourcesFebruary 12, 2020
Two Sides of the Same CoinCenter for American ProgressDecember 6, 2010
A Matter of Life and DeathCenter for American ProgressNovember 22, 2010
Poverty Spikes in the SuburbsCenter for American ProgressNovember 4, 2010
Trouble in the SuburbsCenter for American ProgressOctober 27, 2010
The Not-So-Golden YearsCenter for American ProgressSeptember 27, 2010
Poverty Is Driving an HIV EpidemicCenter for American ProgressJuly 21, 2010
Abortion Bills by the NumbersCenter for American ProgressJune 11, 2010
There’s No Place Like HomeCenter for American ProgressJanuary 5, 2010
Extending Help to the UnemployedCenter for American ProgressNovember 2, 2009
Extending Help to the UnemployedCenter for American ProgressOctober 27, 2009
Labor PainsCenter for American ProgressAugust 3, 2009
Weathering the Storm: Black Men in the RecessionCenter for American ProgressApril 15, 2009
Fighting Poverty in the Recovery ActCenter for American ProgressFebruary 19, 2009
Meeting the Needs of Low-Income Families in the Economic RecoveryCenter for American ProgressFebruary 3, 2009
Homelessness and Hunger on the RiseCenter for American ProgressDecember 16, 2008
Equal Benefits for WomenCenter for American ProgressDecember 9, 2008
Fighting the Rising Tide of Hunger in AmericaCenter for American ProgressNovember 18, 2008
Helping the Jobless Helps Us AllCenter for American ProgressNovember 14, 2008
The Straight Facts on Women in PovertyCenter for American ProgressOctober 8, 2008
Elderly Poverty: The Challenge Before UsCenter for American ProgressJuly 30, 2008
Fair Pay is a Better WayCenter for American ProgressApril 25, 2008
We Are Hungry: Solving the Food Crisis at HomeCenter for American ProgressApril 18, 2008