Christian Denes

Senior Policy Analyst

Christian Denes is a Senior Policy Analyst at Chapin Hall. Denes coleads the Youth Data Collaborative, a research–practice partnership that leverages Chapin Hall’s data linkage, analysis, and research expertise to support youth-serving agencies as they identify critical questions, drive insights, and inform decision making. Denes brings his extensive process improvement and policy experience to a wide range of additional areas of youth development.

Prior to joining Chapin Hall, Denes served as the Director of Strategic Planning & Impact at the City of Chicago Department of Family and Support Services. In this role, he led a comprehensive change management initiative to build a learning community among staff and grantees dedicated to data-informed decision making and continuous improvement. This work included supporting staff in identifying key metrics, developing dashboards, and drawing insights from data; using logic models and learning agendas to lead thoughtful program design; and launching a department data governance structure. Prior to this role, he served as Senior Policy Advisor to the department, providing analysis and recommendations for City leadership, and leading the development of numerous innovative programs and service system reforms with stakeholders. Denes began his career as an elementary school teacher and youth development practitioner.

Denes holds a Master of International Affairs in Economic and Political Development from the Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs. He received his bachelor’s in Urban Studies and International Relations from Brown University.

Master of International Affairs in Economic and Political Development, Columbia University School of International and Public Affairs

Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies and International Relations, Brown University

Denes, C. (2010, September) The family dinner: Panel discussion on food systems. Panel discussion at the IIT Institute of Design, Chicago, IL.

Denes, C. (2004, May) Child labor, conditional cash transfers, and education in Latin America. Presentation at the World Bank Conference on Development Economics, Brussels, Belgium.

Denes, C. (2003, May) Bolsa Escola: Redefining poverty and development in Brazil. Presentation at the Education Across the Americas conference at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, NY.

Denes, C. (2002, October) Reinventing participatory democracy in Argentina. Presentation at the Institute of Latin American and Iberian Studies of Columbia University, New York, NY.



Kathy Osterman Award, City of Chicago, 2013

Denes, C. (2004). Bolsa Escola: Breaking the cycle of poverty, child labour and school disaffection in Brazil. International Journal on School Disaffection, 2(2), 38–43.

Denes, C. A. (2003). Bolsa Escola: Redefining Poverty and Development in Brazil. International Education Journal, 4(2), 137–147.