Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute
The mission of the Opportunity and Inclusive Growth Institute is to conduct and promote research that will increase economic opportunity and inclusive growth and help the Federal Reserve achieve its maximum employment mandate.
The Institute is a new Federal Reserve initiative aimed at conducting world-class research to measure, analyze, and make recommendations to improve the economic well-being of all Americans, with a particular focus on structural barriers that limit full participation in economic opportunity and advancement in the United States. This effort is based at the Minneapolis Fed but is designed to engage a broad range of scholars. The Institute looks beyond aggregate economic indicators in order to examine how national policies impact diverse communities of people within the U.S. economy. Such scholarship will allow the Federal Reserve System to better achieve one of its primary missions—maximum employment—and generate important new insights for other policymakers and the public.
The Institute adopts a multidisciplinary approach that includes the participation of leading academics from a variety of fields, including economics, education, law, public health, public policy, and sociology.
A distinguished group of academics has joined the Board of Advisors. Board members help the Institute by identifying topics where the Federal Reserve System can make a significant contribution and by recruiting Visiting Scholars. The Board’s support will grow and adjust according to the needs of the Institute and the direction of developing scholarship.
David Autor is a professor and associate department head of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Department of Economics. He is also the director of the School Effectiveness and Inequality Initiative, a research program based in the MIT Department of Economics. SEII focuses on the economics of education and the connections between human capital and the American income distribution. Autor is a faculty research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and editor in chief of the Journal of Economic Perspectives, and has served on the board of editors at the American Economic Journal: Applied Economics and the Journal of Labor Economics.
Marianne Bertrand is the Chris P. Dialynas Distinguished Service Professor of Economics at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. She is a research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Center for Economic Policy Research, and the Institute for the Study of Labor. Bertrand is an applied microeconomist whose research covers the fields of labor economics, corporate finance, and development economics. She is co-director of Chicago Booth's Social Enterprise Initiative and director of the Poverty Lab at the University of Chicago Urban Labs. She is also a member of the board of directors for the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab. Bertrand serves as co-editor of the American Economic Review.
Raj Chetty is the William A. Ackman Professor of Economics at Harvard University. Chetty's research combines empirical evidence and economic theory to help design more effective government policies. His work on tax policy, unemployment insurance, and education has been widely cited in media outlets and congressional testimony. His current research focuses on equality of opportunity: How can we give children from disadvantaged backgrounds better chances of succeeding? Chetty is a recipient of a MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship and the John Bates Clark medal, given by the American Economic Association to the best American economist under age 40.
Lisa D. Cook is an associate professor in the Department of Economics and in International Relations at Michigan State University. She was a national fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, on faculty at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government, and deputy director for Africa Research and Programs at Harvard’s Center for International Development.
Among her current research interests are economic growth and development, financial institutions and markets, innovation, and economic history.
From 2011 to 2012, she was a senior economist at the President’s Council of Economic Advisers and served as president of the National Economic Association from 2015 to 2016. She is currently director of the American Economic Association Summer Training Program and a Sigma Xi distinguished lecturer.
Janet Currie is the Henry Putnam Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University and the co-director of Princeton's Center for Health and Wellbeing. She also co-directs the Program on Families and Children at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She is on the board of reviewing editors of Science and has served as the editor of the Journal of Economic Literature and on the editorial board of the Quarterly Journal of Economics. Her research focuses on health and wellbeing, especially of children. She has written about early intervention programs, programs to expand health insurance and improve health care, public housing, and food and nutrition programs. Her current research focuses on socioeconomic differences in health and access to health care, environmental threats to health, and mental health.
William A. ("Sandy") Darity Jr. is the Samuel DuBois Cook Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, and Economics and the director of the Samuel DuBois Cook Center on Social Equity at Duke University. He has served as chair of the Department of African and African American Studies and was the founding director of the Research Network on Racial and Ethnic Inequality at Duke. Darity's research focuses on inequality by race, class, and ethnicity; stratification economics, schooling, and the racial achievement gap; North-South theories of trade and development, skin shade, and labor market outcomes; the economics of reparations, the Atlantic slave trade, and the Industrial Revolution; the history of economics; and the social psychological effects of exposure to unemployment.
Esther Duflo is the Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics in the Department of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a co-founder and co-director of the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab. In her research, she seeks to understand the economic lives of the poor, with the aim to help design and evaluate social policies. With Abhijit Banerjee, she wrote Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty, which won the Financial Times and Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year Award in 2011 and has been translated into 17 languages.
Kathryn Edin is a professor of sociology and public affairs at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School. She is one of the nation’s leading poverty researchers, working in the domains of welfare and low-wage work, family life, and neighborhood contexts through direct, in-depth observations. She has authored eight books and some 60 journal articles. Edin is a trustee of the Russell Sage Foundation, a founding member of the MacArthur Foundation-funded Network on Housing and Families with Young Children, and was elected to the National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Political and Social Sciences, and the National Academy of Social Insurance. She has previously taught at Rutgers University, Northwestern University, the University of Pennsylvania, Harvard University, and Johns Hopkins University.
Philip Jefferson, a former research economist at the Federal Reserve Board, teaches courses on econometrics and poverty and inequality at Swarthmore College. His recent research has delved into issues such as the role of education as a buffer against unemployment, the effect of business cycles on poverty rates, and the distribution of income between labor and capital. Jefferson provides expert commentary on the Federal Reserve and the monetary policymaking process. Jefferson has held visiting appointments at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and the University of California. Before coming to Swarthmore in 1997, he taught at Columbia University and the University of Virginia.
Greg Kaplan is a professor of economics at the University of Chicago. His research spans macroeonomics, labor economics, and applied microeconomics, with a focus on the distributional consequences of economic policies and economic forces. He has published extensively on the topics of inequality, risk sharing, unemployment, household formation, migration, fiscal policy, and monetary policy. Kaplan was previously professor and assistant professor in the Department of Economics at Princeton University, assistant professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Pennsylvania, and an economist in the Research Department of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.
Lawrence F. Katz is the Elisabeth Allison Professor of Economics at Harvard University and a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research. His research focuses on issues in labor economics and the economics of social problems. He is the author (with Claudia Goldin) of The Race between Education and Technology, a history of U.S. economic inequality and the roles of technological change and the pace of educational advance in affecting the wage structure. As the principal investigator of the long-term evaluation of the Moving to Opportunity program, a randomized housing mobility experiment, Katz also studies the impact of neighborhood poverty on low-income families.
Glenn C. Loury is the Merton P. Stoltz Professor of the Social Sciences and professor of economics at Brown University. His research has focused on applied microeconomic theory, game theory, industrial organization, natural resource economics, and the economics of race and inequality. Among other honors, he has been elected a distinguished fellow of the American Economic Association, a fellow of the Econometric Society, and a Member of the American Philosophical Society.
Myron Orfield is the director of the Institute on Metropolitan Opportunity. He has written extensively on local government law, spatial inequality, fair housing, school desegregation, charter schools, state and local taxation and finance, and land use law. Recently, Orfield served on the National Commission on Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, as an academic adviser to the Congressional Black Caucus, an adviser to President Barack Obama’s transition team for urban policy and to the White House Office of Urban Affairs, and as special consultant to the Housing and Urban Development’s Office for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity.
Robert D. Putnam is the Peter and Isabel Malkin Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University. He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the British Academy, and past president of the American Political Science Association. In 2006, Putnam received the Skytte Prize, the world's highest accolade for a political scientist, and in 2012, he received the National Humanities Medal, the nation’s highest honor for contributions to the humanities. Notable publications include Making Democracy Work and Bowling Alone: The Collapse and Revival of American Community, both among the most cited (and bestselling) social science works in the last half century. His most recent book, Our Kids: The American Dream in Crisis, a New York Times bestseller, chronicles the growing gap in opportunity for American youth.
William Spriggs serves as chief economist to the AFL-CIO and is a professor in the Department of Economics at Howard University. In his role with the AFL-CIO, he chairs the Economic Policy Working Group of the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD, and he serves on the board of the National Bureau of Economic Research. Formerly, he served as assistant secretary for the Office of Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor. He has also held senior roles with the Economic Policy Institute, the National Urban League, the U.S. Small Business Administration, the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, and the National Commission for Employment Policy.
David W. Wilcox was the director of the Division of Research and Statistics, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, from 2011 through the end of 2018. Previously, he had served as deputy director of R&S, assistant secretary for economic policy at the Treasury Department, senior economist on the staff of the Council of Economic Advisers, an economist and senior economist at the Board of Governors, and was a member of the board of editors for the American Economic Review.
Tawanna Black is founder and CEO of the Center for Economic Inclusion, committed to shared prosperity and an equitable regional economy in Minneapolis-St. Paul. She was previously executive director of the Northside Funders Group, a funder collaborative focused on changing how philanthropy works. Black has served in the public, private, and nonprofit sectors, facilitating collaborative approaches to comprehensive community development in the Midwest. Black’s many awards include being named by Living Cities one of America’s 25 Disruptive Leaders on Race in 2016. Black has served on over 35 nonprofit and philanthropic boards and currently serves as a trustee at the Women’s Foundation of Minnesota, as co-chair of the Itasca Project North Minneapolis Partnership, and on the board of the Northside Achievement Zone.
Bruce Corrie is director of the Planning and Economic Development Department of the city of St. Paul. He previously served as Concordia University’s associate vice president of University Relations and International Programs, and is now on leave from Concordia, where he has been a faculty member since 1987. An economist, Corrie is well known for his work on the economic contributions of immigrants and minorities. He has served on the boards of national, state, and local public and nonprofit groups, including the District Advisory Council of the U.S. Small Business Administration, the Governor’s Workforce Development Council, the Governor’s Working Group on Minority Business Development (serving as chair), and the World Cultural Heritage District.
Paul Fleissner is a deputy county administrator for the Health, Housing, and Human Services Division in Olmsted County and director of the Housing and Redevelopment Authority. He previously worked as a behavior analyst and program manager in group homes for disabled and mentally ill populations. For the past 25 years, he has worked in Olmsted County as a social worker and in administration. Fleissner is past president of the Minnesota Association of County Social Service Administrators, is a former board member of the National Association of County Human Service Administrators, and currently serves on the board of the American Public Human Services Association.
Michael Goze (Ho-Chunk) is the CEO of the American Indian Community Development Corporation. He has a long history of service in the American Indian community and greater Phillips community in Minneapolis. He has worked as a director of Mission Lodge in Plymouth and a chemical health counselor for Hennepin County. With that background, his top priorities are to visit the continuous care and chemical health areas and to address homeownership. He believes that homeownership is a way to increase stability and economic development in the American Indian community and is particularly interested in finding ways to provide safe and affordable homes for special-needs American Indians and elders.
Danielle Grant is president and CEO of AchieveMpls, which operates career and college readiness programs, hosts public education events, and manages Minneapolis Public Schools (MPS) funds and awards. Grant was previously executive director of MPS’s Educational and Cultural Services and Indian Education. A Turtle Mountain Ojibwe, Grant was named Minnesota’s Outstanding American Indian Administrator by the Minnesota Indian Education Association in 2012. She currently serves as board chair of American Indian OIC and is a board member of the Minnesota Education Equity Partnership, Minneapolis Regional Chamber of Commerce, and Friends of the Lock and Dam. Grant is also a member of the Industry Leadership Council for the National School Foundation Association and represents the Minneapolis-St. Paul region at Harvard Business School’s Young American Leadership Program.
Shawntera Hardy is co-founder and chief of strategy for Civic Eagle, a national consulting firm that uses technology to promote better democratic outcomes for people and their communities. She was formerly commissioner of the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED). Prior to serving as DEED commissioner, Hardy was deputy chief of staff in the office of Gov. Mark Dayton and Lt. Gov. Tina Smith, where she worked on a wide range of policy and operational issues. She also helped lead the governor’s efforts to diversify state government and expand economic opportunity for Minnesotans of color and Minnesotans with disabilities.
Ezell Jones serves as managing partner for Fifth Quarter Enterprise. Fifth Quarter Enterprise provides executive coaching, business development, risk management and insurance. Jones currently serves on the board of trustees for the University of Minnesota Foundation and is a donor and member of the University of Minnesota President’s Club. He also offers independent consulting services. He is a retired NFL player and a graduate of the University of Minnesota, where he serves as a life member of the Alumni Association. He has also completed associate in risk management executive education programs at Wharton and Tuck schools of business.
Paul Mattessich, executive director of Wilder Research since 1982, has built a multidisciplinary research team devoted to increasing the effectiveness of services, organizations, and policies intended to improve the lives of individuals, families, and communities. Since 2000, Mattessich has worked regularly in Belfast, Northern Ireland, with youth development and civic engagement organizations that promote democratic skills to bring communities together and to resolve conflict. He currently sits on the boards of the Hamm Memorial Psychiatric Clinic and Park Square Theatre. He also serves as first chair of the Community Oversight Board, an independent group formed to promote best research ethics in studies conducted by the University of Minnesota.
Gloria Perez is president and CEO of Jeremiah Program, a nonprofit headquartered in Minnesota, transforming families from poverty to prosperity two generations at a time across seven cities nationally. Previously the executive director of Casa de Esperanza, a national domestic violence agency headquartered in St. Paul, Minnesota, Perez brings more than 25 years of management and leadership experience to her position. She is an Ascend fellow at the Aspen Institute, a Catalyst partner with Stand Together, and serves on the boards of F. R. Bigelow Foundation, Irwin Andrew Porter Foundation, and Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation. Perez received the Alexandrine Medal from St. Catherine University, an honorary doctorate from Macalester College, and the Ellis Island Medal of Honor.
Gregory Russ, appointed as Minneapolis Public Housing Authority’s executive director/CEO by the MPHA board of commissioners in December 2016, is a national leader in public and affordable housing, and brings over three decades of progressive industry experience. Greg was formerly executive director of the Cambridge (Mass.) Housing Authority. He previously held leadership roles in public housing programs in Chicago and Philadelphia and has also worked for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development in Detroit and Washington, D.C. He served as president of the Public Housing Authority Directors Association and is a current board member of the Council of Large Public Housing Authorities.
Sondra Samuels is president and CEO of the Northside Achievement Zone (NAZ), a collaborative of nonprofits and schools aiming to end multigenerational poverty through education and family stability. NAZ focuses on preparing low-income North Minneapolis children to graduate from high school ready for college. It works to integrate effective cradle-to-career solutions, to scale and sustain results, and to ensure that low-income families and children of color share in the Twin Cities’ prosperity. Samuels serves on boards of the Minnesota Private College Council and the Center for the Study of Social Policy, and is on the Generation Next leadership team. She also serves on the Hennepin County Fourth Judicial Selection Commission.
Kate Wolford is president of the McKnight Foundation, a Minnesota-based family foundation that seeks to improve quality of life for present and future generations through grant making, collaboration, impact investing, and strategic policy reform. During her tenure at McKnight, she has spearheaded its development of climate mitigation and sustainability efforts, and its impact investing program, which further leverages the Foundation’s endowment to achieve its goals. Prior to joining McKnight in 2006, Wolford spent 13 years as president of Lutheran World Relief, a global grant-making and policy advocacy organization, after two years as its program director for Latin America. Previously, she worked on humanitarian and community-based efforts in Latin America.