Assistant Director of Research and Policy
Sasha Ostojic joined The Financial Clinic in 2014 and was appointed the Assistant Director of Research and Policy in January 2016. In his role, Sasha manages the data and evaluation process for the Clinic’s financial coaching program, VITA tax program, and financial security ecosystems. Sasha also advocates on behalf of working poor Americans to remove systemic barriers to financial security by leveraging the expertise of the Clinic’s financial coaches and their 18,000 plus financial coaching customers.
In 2013, The Financial Clinic was selected to participate in a randomized control trial evaluating the impacts of financial coaching commissioned by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and evaluated by the Urban Institute. The results of the study were made public in 2015 and findings show financial coaching has positive effects on savings deposits, account balances, budgeting, and credit scores. Sasha has been working closely with his colleagues at The Financial Clinic to implement findings and practices from the randomized control trial into the Clinic’s model and day-to-day work. More specifically, Sasha is responsible for developing a process for analyzing outcome magnitudes at the customer, coach, site, and programmatic level in addition to standardizing baselines for coaches in the first meeting and the incorporation of well-being metrics into the Clinic’s coaching program.
More recently, Sasha has been testing the implementation of several different scales and surveys, including the Center for Financial Security’s Financial Capability Scale and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Financial Well-Being Scale, into Change Machine, the Clinic’s financial coaching platform. To date, Change Machine has supported practitioners to collect more than 7,000 observations of the Financial Capability Scale.
Sasha holds a Master of Science in Applied Economics from the University of North Dakota. His research interests vary from studying the relationship between financial development and human development to lighter topics such as forecasting and evaluating human performance in a wide variety of fields from financial coaching to sports.