Gena Gunn McClendon
CSD Director of Voter Access and Engagement,
Financial Capability and Asset Building initiatives
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Gena Gunn McClendon, PhD, is director of the Voter Access and Engagement and the Financial Capability and Asset Building initiatives at the Center for Social Development. Her work primarily involves policy research analysis and consultation with community-based programs, academic institutions, state and federal policymakers and advocacy groups.
Dr. McClendon’s program development and policy advocacy work focuses on issues related to voter suppression and civic participation of low- and moderate-income households and marginalized populations. Her research focuses on identifying and advancing practice and policy strategies that support an inclusive democracy and the professional training of social work students. She also leads the Financial Capability and Asset Building Initiative, which focuses on the development and research of a post-secondary curriculum in financial social work. Other interest areas are the racial wealth gap and coalition development.
Dr. McClendon earned a PhD in Urban Higher Education from Jackson State University in Jackson, Mississippi. She received her Master of Management and Leadership from Fontbonne University in St. Louis and Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Illinois University in Carbondale.