In July 2018, Alden joined WBEZ as senior editor of the race, class and communities desk, which provides enterprise reporting on those topics as well as housing, immigration and employment.
Previously, Alden served as the director of research and evaluation for the Metropolitan Planning Council for two years where he examined and wrote about population loss, demographic shifts, job trends and racial segregation.
Prior to joining MPC, Alden served as an investigator and later as a policy analyst for the Better Government Association. In more than four years at the BGA, Alden documented abuses with legislative scholarships, campaign finance expenditures and ward remapping and later analyzed data and lobbied for reforms to increase government transparency, efficiency and accountability.
Prior to joining the BGA, Alden spent 12 years at The Chicago Reporter, initially as a reporter, then senior editor and finally as publisher. He authored, edited or provided research for more than 50 investigative projects examining the impact of race and class in drug sentencing, jury verdicts, jury selection, lottery ticket sales, fatal police shootings and subprime mortgage lending, among others.
Alden has discussed his work on ABC7, CBS2, Chicago Public Radio, CNN, FOX32, NBC5, WGN-TV, and WTTW Chicago Tonight. His research has appeared in The Chicago Defender, Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Crain’s Chicago Business, Forbes, Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.
Alden is a Chicago native who grew up in the LeClaire Courts public housing development and later the Auburn Gresham community on the city’s south side. He is married with three daughters.