Paul Cillo

President and Executive Director

Paul Cillo, founder of the Public Assets Institute, has been active in public policy work for over forty years, as a local and state political representative, consultant on health care, education finance, and other tax and budget issues; and on energy efficiency. He represented Hardwick, Walden, and Stannard in the Vermont House of Representatives for ten years, serving four years on the tax-writing Ways & Means Committee and four as Majority Leader. During those years he designed and led the Legislature to adopt a groundbreaking education financing system that equalizes opportunity for all Vermont children, regardless of where they live.

Paul has served extensively at the local level, as well, on Hardwick’s Select Board, Planning Commission, and other volunteer committees. He has been a member of numerous nonprofit boards and advisory committees, including the Lamoille Housing Partnership (Treasurer), Northern Counties Health Care (President), the State Legislative Leaders Foundation, National Conference of State Legislatures, and the Energy Foundation. He is a lifelong Vermonter, originally from Castleton. His parents, with Paul and his three siblings, ran a small summer restaurant and marina on Lake Bomoseen. He graduated the University of Vermont in 1975 with a BA in Philosophy.




Jack Hoffman

Senior Policy Analyst

Jack Hoffman joined Public Assets Institute in October 2007. He does research and analysis on state fiscal and economic issues and prepares periodic reports published by the institute. Before joining Public Assets, Jack covered politics and state government in Vermont for 20 years. He was chief of the Vermont Press Bureau, the capital bureau for the Rutland Herald and Barre-Montpelier Times Argus. Covering state government, he focused on tax and budget issues, especially education funding. After leaving journalism in 2002, he served for five years as executive director of the Vermont Broadband Council, a non-profit organization promoting the use and availability of broadband in the state.

Before he started his reporting career, Jack traveled extensively in Africa. He served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Libya in the late 1960s. He has called Vermont home since 1965, when he first enrolled in Middlebury College. He and his wife, Lark Upson, are residents of Marshfield.


Julie Lowell, Ph.D.

Policy Analyst

Dr. Julie Lowell came to Public Assets after working at Vermont Works for Women for four years, as both a program evaluator and a direct service provider. She has worked directly with survivors of domestic violence, families experiencing homelessness, and women exiting correctional settings, informing her advocacy at the state level to positively impact policy for individuals living in poverty.

Julie has a PhD in Social Policy from Brandeis University, with a focus on asset distribution and inequality. Her research examined the impact of federal and local housing policy on family well-being for families living in poverty. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Women Studies and Health and Society from University of Rochester. Julie currently lives in South Burlington and loves spending time with her husband and two kids, her large extended family, baking, being outdoors, and playing ice hockey.



Sarah Lyons

Communications & Development Director

Sarah Lyons joined Public Assets Institute in November 2006. She coordinates the administrative and communication functions of the organization. She serves as webmaster, assists with research, manages publishing activities, and provides support to staff and board members.

She lives in Walden with her husband and daughter, and manages a maple sugar orchard.




Stephanie Yu

Deputy Director

Steph has worked as both a public sector fiscal analyst and a private sector financial analyst. She also has experience in the executive branch of state government, as the Budget Manager for the Michigan Department of Treasury and the Executive Director of the West Virginia Commission for National and Community Service.

She has a master’s degree in public administration with a concentration in nonprofit management from the University of Southern California. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Harvard University. She currently resides in Burlington with her family. Despite her wandering past, as a native New Englander she has rooted for the Red Sox, Celtics, Patriots and Bruins all her life.