Advisory Council

Esteemed thought-leaders, with an array of backgrounds between them – from research, public policy and marketing and public relations – this team of experts will help Home Matters further the national conversation about Home’s critical linkages to health, education, public safety, personal success and the economy.

Dr. Raphael Bostic

Dr. Raphael Bostic is the Judith and John Bedrosian Chair in Governance and the Public Enterprise at the Sol Price School of Public Policy at the University of Southern California (USC).

He has recently returned to USC after serving for 3 years in the Obama Administration as the Assistant Secretary for Policy Development and Research at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. In that Senate-confirmed position, Dr. Bostic was a principal advisor to the Secretary on policy and research, with the goal of helping the Secretary and other principal staff make informed decisions on HUD policies and programs, as well as budget and legislative proposal. Bostic led an interdisciplinary team of 150 which had expertise in all policy areas of importance to the department, including housing, housing finance, rental assistance, community development, economic development, sustainability, and homelessness, among others. During his tenure and with his leadership, PD&R funded more than $150M in new research, became an important advisory voice on departmental budget and prioritization decisions, and reestablished its position as a thought leader on policies associated with housing and urban development.

Gary D. McCormick

Gary D. McCormick, APR, Fellow PRSA, is the director of corporate communications marketing and public relations for Scripps Networks Interactive, parent company of cable networks HGTV, Food Network, DIY Network, Cooking Channel, Travel Channel and Great American Country.

Previously, he served as the Director of Partnership Development for HGTV, identifying opportunities for reciprocal promotion through off-channel exposure for the leading home and lifestyle cable network and its on-air talent. Before moving to HGTV, Gary was the director of public relations for DIY Network and Fine Living TV Network, where he managed the networks’ media relations and special events. Gary joined Scripps Networks after 17 years of public relations and public affairs support to federal government clients.

Gary served as the Chair and CEO of the Public Relations Society of America in 2010. He is also on the Board of Directors for the Plank Center for Leadership in Public Relations at the University of Alabama, served as the president of the PRSA Foundation in 2006 and 2007, and has been a co-chair of the Champions for PRSSA since 2005.

Ianna Kachoris

Ianna Kachoris is a Program Officer for the MacArthur Foundation. In this role she oversees the Foundation’s multi-year, $25 million How Housing Matters to Families and Communities research initiative.

Ianna joined the Foundation in 2010 after directing Pew’s Economic Mobility Project including all programmatic aspects of the project, overseeing research publications and guiding the development of a policy agenda with bipartisan consensus. Prior to her time at Pew, Ianna served as Senior Policy Advisor to Senator Edward M. Kennedy on issues ranging from housing and community development to telecommunications, research and development, international trade and economic policy, and was his liaison to the Joint Economic Committee.

She also managed the Fannie Mae Foundation’s Midwest office, and worked on cross-jurisdictional housing issues for the Metropolitan Planning Council in Chicago. She began her career as an analyst with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of Evaluation and Inspections conducting program evaluations of federal programs including TANF, Head Start, Medicaid, and Medicare.

Fred Karnas

Fred Karnas joined The Kresge Foundation in 2013 and is a Senior Fellow, bringing with him extensive experience working on issues at the intersection of housing, health, and human services and the needs of vulnerable populations. He is a senior fellow in Kresge’s Executive Office, where he serves as adviser to the foundation’s Human Services and Health program teams and its Social Investment Practice. He also supports the Executive Office in special initiatives and cross-program collaborations.

Fred has been a senior adviser to former U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan in the Obama administration, serving as liaison to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services on issues affecting homeless persons, older Americans and persons with disabilities. Previously, he served as deputy assistant secretary for special needs at HUD, director of the Office of AIDS Housing, and acting executive director of the Interagency Council on the Homeless in the Clinton administration.

Daniel Isom

Dr. Isom joined the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department on August 29, 1988 and was appointed Chief of Police on October 6, 2008 as the city’s 33rd Chief of Police. He retired January 1, 2013, after 24 years of service.
Dr. Isom holds a Bachelor, Masters and a Ph.D. from the University of Missouri-St. Louis in Criminology and Criminal Justice and a Masters in Public Administration from St. Louis University. He is a graduate of the FBI National Academy, the Police Executive Research Forum Senior Management Institute (PERF) and the FBI National Executives Institute.
He was a 2013 Eisenhower Fellow in which he studied community policing and police training in Europe visiting Ireland and Germany on his fellowship.
He recently served as the Public Safety Director for the State of Missouri and the Co-Chair of the working group on Citizen-Law Enforcement Relations as a member of the Ferguson Commission.

Rachel J. Thornton

Dr. Thornton, is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins University in the Division of General Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine. She was a White House Fellow (2010-2011) and served as a Health Policy Advisor (2011-2013) to senior staff at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.  Her policy work addresses health in  all policies with an emphasis on housing, community development, and urban planning policy. Dr. Thornton’s research focuses on childhood obesity and cardiovascular disease risk, health disparities, and social determinants of health.  She has expertise in racial/ethnic disparities in heath and health care and is committed to contributing to elimination of health disparities by addressing individual-, family-, community-, and policy-level factors through her research. In 2009 she directed a health impact assessment of Baltimore City’s comprehensive zoning code rewrite, funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, which highlighted in the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 2014 Health Equity Guide and serves as a model of population health research highlighted by the Interdisciplinary Association for Population Health Science. Dr. Thornton is a board certified general pediatrician and maintains a primary care practice at the Children’s Medical Practice at Johns Hopkins Bayview where she also teaches residents.


Home Matters is a movement that seeks to re-define Home and create a New American Dream.

Thank You!