Lydia Stazen

Director | Institute of Global Homelessness

Lydia has dedicated her career to building a world where all people have a place to call home and a strong foundation upon which they can build the lives they envision for themselves. Lydia has held executive leadership roles in anti-poverty organizations across the Midwest, focusing on housing, employment, education, and policy advocacy.

Immediately prior to joining the Institute for Global Homelessness, she served as Vice Chancellor of Advancement and President of the City Colleges of Chicago Foundation, where key achievements included establishing a $500,000 fund for student basic needs emergencies and securing funding for a full-time staff position to drive a college-wide response for students experiencing homelessness. She also served for several years as Vice President of All Chicago Making Homelessness History, where she was instrumental in integrating homeless data with medical data to help patients experiencing homelessness access housing services.

Her expertise spans systems change, collective impact, fundraising, communications and marketing, program design, outcomes and data tracking and analysis, nonprofit management, government administration, executive search, and more. She was a “Greater Good” fellow at Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management in 2015, has been a featured panelist at the Association for Fundraising Professional’s Midwest Conference, and is a Certified Fund Raising Executive (CFRE).

When she’s not traveling the world helping communities address homelessness, you can find Lydia swimming competitively, inhaling fiction, or hunting for Chicago’s perfect brunch.

Molly Seeley

Special Projects Manager | Institute of Global Homelessness

Molly graduated from New York University with a BA in Anthropology and Comparative Literature. She has worked as an editor, content coordinator, tutor, researcher, and sports reporter. Before coming to Chicago, Molly worked for Variety the Children’s Charity of New York, seeking to fund and support arts education in New York City and the Tri-State area. Along similar lines, she worked for the Shakespeare Society to help make Shakespeare education accessible and available to students in all five boroughs. She is on the board of NYU’s College Alumni Association.

Molly has worked researching the role of politics in the comedores of Buenos Aires, Argentina, and performed an ethnographic field study of the role of insider language within Live Action Role Players in the New York Tri-State area. She wrote her thesis on translations of Shakespeare’s “Hamlet” as a method of political discourse in Spain. She is currently pursuing her MSc in Public Administration and Policy at the London School of Economics.

Molly is an avid hockey fan and hockey history buff. It’s best not to get her started talking about it unless you have at least an hour to spare.


Tiffany Connolly

Administrative Assistant | Institute of Global Homelessness

Tiffany graduated from DePaul University with a BA in Psychology. She began her work at IGH as a student intern during her senior year at DePaul and now provides clerical support to the team. She is passionate about social sciences, especially human behavior, and helping others.

Julia Wagner

Program Manager | Institute of Global Homelessness

Julia’s experiences volunteering with Amnesty International and homeless organizations in Chicago grew her awareness of injustice and privilege, and spurred her passion for homeless issues and building a world based on equity and inclusion.

Prior to joining IGH, Julia served as a Monitoring and Evaluation Technical Advisor for the AIDSFree Project, where she worked with teams from 13 countries to track and improve performance. She has also worked in Namibia and South Africa on projects focused on empowering youth, forming continuum of care networks, and engaging civil society organizations. Her experience includes creating data management systems, building dashboards and tools to make data more accessible for decision making, and providing capacity building and technical assistance to field-based partners.

Julia holds a Master’s Degree in Public Policy and Management from Carnegie Mellon University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.


Her graduate school capstone project focused on designing a new evidenced-based service delivery plan for two large homeless shelters using research on best practices, analysis of homeless population data, and GIS mapping of neighborhood services.

In her free time, Julia enjoys cooking, spending time with friends and family, biking along Chicago’s lakefront, and listening to podcasts.


Joanna Padgett Herz

Project Coordinator, United Nations Advocacy | Institute of Global Homelessness

Joanna Padgett Herz is a Sociology student at St. John’s University in Queens, New York, just a borough from where she grew up in Brooklyn. She has been doing service work since she was 14, most recently being part of the Ozanam Scholars Program. Joanna is a Project ID caseworker at St. John’s Bread and Life, where she helps clients acquire vital documents such as birth, marriage, and death certificates, social security cards, and state identification. In Fall of 2017 she was the Rome program coordinator for the Little Friends for Peace Club, where she helped teach young students about non-violent problem solving, social justice, and other peaceful life skills. She has also worked on poverty alleviating programs and service trips in Puerto Rico, Ecuador, South Dakota, and Ghana. She previously was an intern representative for the Congregation of the Mission focusing on advocating for the end of human trafficking and homelessness.

Joanna has been working on United Nations advocacy since January of 2019, and has a passion for using international relations to solve social injustices around the world. She will complete her Masters in Sociology in 2020, and then plans to get a PhD in international peace studies or international relations/affairs.

Joanna has been drawing since she could hold a pencil, and now marries her passions by using art and graphics to communicate and advocate to others. In her free time she is also known for playing video games, playing with makeup, and over analyzing media.

Reese Hagy

Research Assistant | Institute of Global Homelessness

Reese graduated from the University of Minnesota – Twin Cities with a BA in political science and a minor in philosophy. He is currently pursuing his Master of Public Policy at DePaul University. Prior to joining IGH, Reese worked as a public policy researcher, providing regulatory and policy support to federal agencies. He has also worked as an election judge, an electoral reform advocate, and has volunteered for a number of political campaigns and causes. Reese spends his free time perfecting his deep dish pizza craft, starting more books than he finishes, and working on his jump shot.

Reese Hagy - headshot