Ruth Coffman came to Urban Labs from the Cook County Sheriff's Office, where she started and led the Office's first Research Department. As Research Director, she built analytical and data capacity within the Sheriff's Office, provided strategic direction, and led evaluations of programs and internal operations.

Previously, Ruth worked in a research capacity for a variety of organizations, including the Center for Global Development, and also interned in the Social Office at the White House. She holds a Masters in Public Policy from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy, and a Masters in Divinity from the Divinity School at the University of Chicago.