Meet the APM Research Lab

Craig Helmstetter, Managing Partner (e-mail or 651-290-1219)

Craig Helmstetter leads the Research Lab, directing the overall agenda and developing new projects, as well as providing hands-on analysis. Helmstetter joins APM from Wilder Research, where he helped establish and then lead its Minnesota Compass initiative. In that role, he created and managed research projects, marketed research and data analysis services, developed and oversaw a research team, and frequently gave presentations on major social, economic and demographic trends facing communities throughout the state.

Helmstetter also has experience as an evaluator with Minnesota’s Legislative Auditor’s Office, a project manager with a survey research center, and currently serves as president of the board of the Community Indicators Consortium. He is a graduate of Luther College (1992), and received both a master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning (1997) and a Ph.D. in Sociology (2001) from the University of Oregon, where he focused on quantitative methods, survey research, public opinion, and social stratification.

Andi Egbert, Senior Research Associate (e-mail or 651-290-1403)

Andi Egbert relishes telling stories with data. She comes to APM from the Minnesota State Demographic Center, where she served as assistant director and provided expert data analysis to policymakers, government staff, the media, and organizations. Egbert wrote and presented regularly across Minnesota on topics such as aging, education, immigration, poverty, and the workforce.

Previously, Egbert served as a research scientist for Minnesota Compass, a data indicators project at Wilder Research, and prepared the annual Minnesota KIDS COUNT data book as research director at the Children’s Defense Fund Minnesota. She has also served as a writer and editor for several publications.

Egbert holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs at the University of Minnesota, with concentrations in social policy and vulnerable populations (2005), and has completed additional coursework in demographic methods. She also earned a bachelor’s degree in English with minors in journalism and humanities from Valparaiso University (1998).

Kassira Absar, Research Associate (e-mail or 651-290-1457)

Kassira Absar joins APM from OpenGlobalRights at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, where she was a research fellow and lead project manager on an international survey exploring the potential for local funding for human rights organizations in Mexico City, Mexico and Bogotá, Colombia. She helped design, implement, and analyze the study.

Absar has also lived and worked in the Basque Country of Spain, as well as Colombia, Bangladesh, and Nepal. Absar holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Maryland, College Park (2009) and a Master in Public Policy from the Humphrey School of Public Affairs (2015).

Josh Quinn, Research Assistant (e-mail)

Josh Quinn provides essential research assistance across a range of Lab projects. He enjoys working on a wide variety of topics including education policy, demographic research, and state and local government. Previously Quinn worked with the City of Saint Paul’s Office of Financial Services where he helped publish Mayor Carter’s 2019 proposed budget, designed and implemented resident outreach activities, and explored process improvement projects with the Saint Paul Innovation Team. Quinn is completing his final semester in the Master of Public Policy program at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs, University of Minnesota. He also holds a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University of Minnesota (2015).