Woodson Meeting Signals Closer Trump Ties to Ryan on Poverty, Evidence (Social Innovation Research Center)

By Patrick Lester

President-elect Trump today met with Robert Woodson, head of the Center for Neighborhood Enterprise and a close advisor to House Speaker Paul Ryan on poverty issues.

Ryan has actively supported a Republican vision for addressing poverty as part of a larger GOP plan called A Better Way. It contains numerous evidence-based provisions, including pay for success.

Woodson is being considered for the incoming position of HUD Secretary. According to the Washington Post:

If selected, Woodson, who is black, would add diversity to Trump’s team. And he would be responsible for leading education and social reforms in predominantly African American areas, which Trump repeatedly described during the campaign as “failed” and vowed to repair.

“They seem to be very serious about it,” Woodson, 79, said in an interview with The Washington Post. “I’m not job hunting, but we’re talking about how I could possibly work with him. We’re talking about how we could work with those across the aisle to do these things together.”

When asked if Trump officials have specifically discussed a potential Cabinet appointment, Woodson said, “Yes, we’re talking about HUD.”

Woodson is scheduled to meet with Trump on Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at the president-elect’s golf club in Bedminster, N.J.

He added that the House speaker has encouraged him as he heads to New Jersey.

“It’s fair to say that Paul wouldn’t mind having me there to work with them on all of this,” Woodson said with a chuckle.

Congressional staff who are familiar with Ryan’s thinking on poverty and evidence-based policy have consistently pointed to Woodson as a source of personal inspiration for the Speaker.

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