Carl Rist, Director, Children's Savings & Senior Advisor, Asset Building
Areas of Expertise: Children’s Savings Accounts, Enterprise & Economic Development, IDAs, Local Policy, Savings & Financial Security
Carl Rist has spent over 20 years at CFED, working on a variety of strategies to expand economic opportunity and help lower-income households build wealth. Presently, Mr. Rist is the Director of Children’s Savings and a Senior Advisor on Asset Building. In this capacity, Mr. Rist directs CFED’s efforts—including field building, public policy advocacy and consulting services—to ensure that more than a million low-income children have access to Children’s Savings Accounts (CSAs). Previously, Mr. Rist launched and directed the 1:1 Fund, a fundraising and marketing tool created by CFED that makes it easy for donors, large and small, to help children save for college by matching their contributions in CSAs.
Mr. Rist’s experience with CSAs also includes directing the SEED (Savings for Education, Entrepreneurship and Downpayment) Policy and Practice Initiative (2003-2009), a multi-year, multi-site demonstration of matched savings accounts for children and youth in low-income families. In addition, Mr. Rist helped to design and implement an innovative partnership between UNCF (United Negro College Fund), the KIPP network of public charter schools and CFED to offer incentivized college savings accounts to KIPP students.
He is the co-author of numerous publications about children’s saving, including Hope in Concrete Form: Children’s Savings Accounts and the Save and Invest Economy; From Piggy Banks to Prosperity: A Guide to Implementing Children's Development Accounts and Children's Savings Accounts: A State Policy Sourcebook.
Prior to his work on children’s savings, Mr. Rist was responsible for CFED's efforts to support state-level policy and coalition-building initiatives designed to expand Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) and other asset-building tools. He led the development and design of the initial version of CFED's Assets & Opportunity Scorecard (then known as the State Asset Development Report Card), a comprehensive tool that examines wealth, poverty and financial security across the 50 states and the District of Columbia using performance and policy measures. Mr. Rist's experience at the state level includes working with state task forces in both Delaware and Pennsylvania to develop recommendations for helping citizens, especially those with low incomes, to build and protect assets. Mr. Rist also has served in an advisory capacity for a number of state-level IDA coalitions, including the North Carolina IDA and Asset-Building Collaborative, the Michigan IDA Partnership, the South Carolina IDA Collaborative and the Mid-South IDA Initiative (Arkansas, Louisiana and Mississippi).
Mr. Rist earned an M.A. in public policy in 1991 from the Sanford Institute of Public Policy at Duke University. He also holds an undergraduate degree from Davidson College.
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