The IMPAQ Story

Bringing Research to Life

In 2001, Jacob and Sharon Benus founded IMPAQ International based on their simple belief that exceptional people committed to rigorous research can drive the design and implementation of policies and programs that improve the lives of real people.

Jacob and Sharon were right.

Shortly after they founded IMPAQ, a self-employed contractor who IMPAQ had hired to wire the new office asked a simple question: “What does IMPAQ do?”

Since IMPAQ was brand new at the time, a staff member replied by describing the Unemployment Insurance Self-Employment Assistance (SEA) demonstration, a project that Jake had conducted before starting IMPAQ. SEA was an innovative program funded by the Department of Labor that investigated whether it is possible to train those who are unemployed to become entrepreneurs.

The contractor—who still works with IMPAQ, and whose business has grown alongside IMPAQ’s—interrupted, “Wait! I was trained by SEA; SEA helped me to start my business!”

Jacob and Sharon’s belief in the power of bringing together exceptional people to do rigorous work to improve people’s lives remains the driving force behind IMPAQ more than a decade after its founding.

However, what was once a boutique firm is now a company of nearly 400 employees, with headquarters in Columbia, MD, satellite offices in Washington, D.C., Oakland, CA, Boston, MA, Seattle, WA, Bethesda, MD, and Denver, CO, and a field office in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina.

Today, IMPAQ’s teams collaborate with public sector clients, such as the U.S. Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, as well as private sector clients such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, to address some of the most critical challenges of our time - from the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act to reducing the unemployment rate and putting Americans back to work.

IMPAQ is recognized as one of the best places to work in our region, and is known for its hallmark entrepreneurial spirit and commitment to diversity.

The story does not end here. IMPAQ continues to grow, diversifying our offerings and services, expanding into new sectors and industries, serving new clients, and building on the productive relationships established with clients over the years.

IMPAQ has undergone many changes since its founding, but there has always been one constant: exceptional people committed to rigorous research can make a meaningful difference in people’s lives across the globe.