Alexandra Cawthorne Gaines

Program Director
Economic Opportunity Division

Alexandra Cawthorne Gaines serves as program director for the NGA Center for Best Practices’ Economic Opportunity Division, where she supports governors’ staff and state policymakers in strengthening their human services delivery systems. Her areas of focus include two-generation state policy, child welfare reform, juvenile justice and place-based approaches to serving low-income families.

Cawthorne has served several roles in the Economic Opportunity division, including senior policy analyst and policy analyst. Before joining NGA, she served as a research associate at the Center for American Progress where she worked with the economic policy team, and as a legislative assistant for the United States Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs.  She also served as a Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellow with the Congressional Hunger Center.

Cawthorne holds a master’s degree in political management from The George Washington University and a bachelor of arts degree in Psychology and Urban Studies from Vassar College.

Alexandra originally hails from Maryland.