About Us

The Kentucky Center for Economic Policy (KCEP) seeks to improve the quality of life for all Kentuckians through research, analysis and education on important policy issues facing the Commonwealth. KCEP produces research briefs on timely issues; promotes public conversation about those issues through media and presentations; and advocates to decision makers on the need for policies that move all Kentuckians forward.

KCEP launched in 2011 and is a project of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development (MACED). MACED is a community development organization that seeks to create economic alternatives that work for people and places in eastern Kentucky and Central Appalachia. Founded in 1976, MACED’s efforts include promoting enterprise development through capital investment and capacity building; operating demonstration programs that test new development ideas; and conducting research on public policy issues.

KCEP is a member of the State Priorities Partnership, a national network of organizations that work to address state tax and budget issues and their impact on low- and moderate-income families. The State Priorities Partnership is coordinated by the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. KCEP is also a member of the Working Poor Families Project and the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN).

KCEP Staff

Jason Bailey, Director

Jason photoJason Bailey is Director of the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy and serves as Research and Policy Director of the Mountain Association for Community Economic Development. Since 1998 he has worked as a researcher addressing economic issues in the Commonwealth. Jason has served as a member of the Governor’s Blue Ribbon Commission on Tax Reform and the Kentucky Commission on Small Business Advocacy. He has a master’s in public administration with a specialization in public finance from New York University and a bachelor’s degree from Carson-Newman College.


Anna Baumann, Research and Policy Associate

Anna photoAnna Baumann is Research and Policy Associate at the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy. She joined the staff in February 2013. Previously, Anna served as a ministries coordinator in the Episcopal Church, an AmeriCorps volunteer in Los Angeles and a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholar in Durban, South Africa. After marrying into and working for Lazy Eight Stock Farm in Paint Lick, Kentucky, she also considers herself a farmer. Anna has a master’s in Development Studies from the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa and a bachelor’s in English from Berry College in Rome, Georgia.


Ashley Spalding, Research and Policy Associate

Ashley photoAshley Spalding is Research and Policy Associate at the Kentucky Center for Economic Policy. She joined the staff in October 2011. Ashley has conducted research on social and economic policies affecting low-income families for over a decade. Her doctoral and postdoctoral research projects at the University of South Florida focused on low-income housing and education, respectively. Ashley holds a PhD in Applied Anthropology from the University of South Florida, an MA in Anthropology from the University of South Carolina and a BA in English from Samford University. A Kentucky native, Ashley is thrilled to have returned to the area to live and work.


Kenny Colston, Communications Director

Colston headshotKenny Colston is the Communications Director for Kentucky Center for Economic Policy. Kenny joined the team in March 2015, after spending the previous five years as a political journalist and editor. Kenny has received many state and regional awards for his work in politics, sports and other areas of journalism. His writing has been cited by the New York Times, Washington Post and several other national outlets. Kenny has a bachelor’s of science in journalism, with a political science minor, from the University of Kentucky.


Please contact us for more information or questions.

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