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HousingWorks Austin Board Member Emily Perlmeter

What position do you hold, besides being a HousingWorks Austin board member?

I am the Community Development Advisor at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. I also serve on the board of directors for the Financial Literacy Coalition of Central Texas.

Where did you grow up and attend school?

I lived in six different places by the time I turned 18, including New York, England, and Texas, so I like to say that I “grew up all over.” However, I relate most to being from Texas, where I went to high school. I attended college at the George Washington University in Washington, DC, and then got my Master’s from New York University.


Emily Perlmeter at our 2018 Summit

What are your major career accomplishments?

I like to believe that my largest career accomplishments are yet to come. But I’m proud of work I’ve done so far. At the Dallas Fed, I try to produce “actionable research”—meaning, reports that do more than sit on a shelf. We work hard to produce data analysis that can help organizations on the ground advance economic opportunity for low- and moderate-income households. One recent example: I released a paper on credit and debt in Dallas County that made the front page of the Dallas Morning News. That article not only reported on current credit and debt trends on a neighborhood level, but also gave people a bit of a history lesson on structural inequities in our financial system. If I can get community leaders and policymakers to better understand context, to think about the role of historical policies in current community development issues, and to be inclusive when creating new policies, that is success to me.

What are some interests of yours not related to your work or HousingWorks?

As an avid reader, I lead a monthly book club here in Austin. I’m also a yoga enthusiast, currently working on perfecting my crow pose. Baseball is another big interest (Go Rangers!) But above all, I enjoy spending time with my family: I have a husband Cody, a cat Omar, and a daughter June, who was born in 2017. They keep me pretty busy, and it’s the best kind of busy.

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