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The Washington Center for Equitable Growth today announced five new members of its Steering Committee. Daron Acemoglu of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Trevon Logan of The Ohio State University, Suresh Naidu of Columbia University, Heidi Williams of Dartmouth College, and Catherine Wolfram of MIT will join the existing members of the Steering Committee to expand Equitable Growth’s network of academic and policy advisors.

This prestigious group includes established scholars whose research has influence beyond academia, as well as scholars who have experience serving in the federal government. These experts help guide Equitable Growth’s investments in rigorous research to inform economic policymaking that will lead to strong, stable, and broadly shared growth. They also assist the organization in supporting the next generation of scholars.

“We’re thrilled that this innovative group of scholars is joining our Steering Committee,” says Equitable Growth President and CEO Shayna Strom. “Their cutting-edge scholarship and engagement in the policy process make them well-equipped to shape the next chapter of Equitable Growth’s strategy to examine how inequality affects economic growth and prosperity. We’re looking forward to working with them as we continue to bring together the next generation of researchers and policymakers seeking to advance evidence-based agendas that foster strong, stable, and broadly shared growth.”

The expansion of the Steering Committee comes at a pivotal moment for the organization. After a decade of grantmaking, Equitable Growth is reimagining how our support for research and an academic network can lead to policy changes. Over the course of the next few years, we will be introducing more targeted training and more opportunities for our academic network to engage with policymakers and the media, including through public service.

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Our grantmaking will also be more targeted, aiming to address areas where policymakers need more evidence to support future policy work that can reduce inequality and spur growth. We are maintaining our commitment to support the next generation of scholars and increase diversity across the social sciences through the more broad-based Request for Proposals: Research grants for early career scholars, announced last week.

The new Steering Committee members are extremely accomplished in their respective fields. Their knowledge and experience will guide Equitable Growth as it expands into new areas where policymakers are most in need of research evidence and continues its work in other fields.

Acemoglu’s work is focused on democracy, political economy and institutional development, and labor economics, with a recent focus on the impact of technology and artificial intelligence on inequality and economic growth. He hopes his research can change the future direction of AI and technological advancement to become more pro-worker, to generate more good jobs for workers, and to ensure shared prosperity across the labor force.

Logan primarily studies health economics and racial health disparities, economic demography, and economic history, with a focus on assessments of living standards over time. His research looks at how policies and political processes lead to broader trends in the economy, including stifled human capital development and growing racial inequality in the United States. He also has experience developing the next generation of leaders, serving as co-director of the American Economic Association’s mentoring program and working with undergraduates at The Ohio State University to be more integrated and invested in the research process.

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Naidu researches topics in the fields of development economics, labor economics, and political economy, including labor organizing and monopsony power. His work is largely focused on economic and political power and inequality. Naidu is a big proponent of multidisciplinary research, collaboration, and discussions as methods of expanding traditional ideas of where inequality crops up and how to apply research findings in the real world.

Williams focuses on science and innovation, their role in economic growth, and their impacts on society and the economy more broadly, with recent work looking at patents and innovation, as well as various aspects of health economics. Much of her work touches upon inequality and the areas in which it is perhaps unexpectedly seen, such as in who gets funding to do future economics research. Williams also serves as a mentor for early career scholars, helping them through their doctoral programs.

Wolfram’s area of focus is applied economics and climate economics, particularly on the economics of energy markets, rural electrification programs in the developing world, U.S. energy efficiency programs, and environmental regulations. She primarily works on ways to address climate change and build coalitions to tackle the challenge of global warming. Wolfram has also worked in public office, having served as President Joe Biden’s Deputy Assistant Secretary for Climate and Energy at the U.S. Department of the Treasury early on in the administration.

To learn more about each of the new members and their research priorities check out the video announcement below.

These five scholars join our fantastic Steering Committee members Byron Auguste of Opportunity@Work, Alan Blinder of Princeton University, Karen Dynan of Harvard University, Jason Furman of Harvard University, Hilary Hoynes of the University of California, Berkeley, Atif Mian of Princeton University, and Robert Solow of MIT. We are thrilled to welcome them and excited to work together in the coming months and years to advance our research agenda and shape the next generation of social scientists.

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Felecia Phillips Ollie DD (h.c.) is the inspiring leader and founder of The Equality Network LLC (TEN). With a background in coaching, travel, and a career in news, Felecia brings a unique perspective to promoting diversity and inclusion. Holding a Bachelor's Degree in English/Communications, she is passionate about creating a more inclusive future. From graduating from Mississippi Valley State University to leading initiatives like the Washington State Department of Ecology’s Equal Employment Opportunity Program, Felecia is dedicated to making a positive impact. Join her journey on our blog as she shares insights and leads the charge for equity through The Equality Network.


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