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Elisabeth Jacobs

Senior Director, Policy and Academic Programs

Expertise: Economic inequality, economic mobility, family economic security, poverty, employment, social policy, social insurance, politics of inequality

Elisabeth Jacobs is Senior Director for Policy and Academic Programs at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. She is responsible for developing and executing Equitable Growth’s strategic vision, connecting empirically driven research on the effects of economic inequality to public policy debates and outcomes. In addition, she oversees Equitable Growth’s academic relationships and outreach, including the competitive grant-making program, commissioned work, and other related efforts to build a community of scholars working to understand whether and how economic inequality affects growth and well-being.

Prior to joining Equitable Growth, Jacobs was a fellow in governance studies at the Brookings Institution, where she conducted research on economic mobility, inequality, long-term unemployment, workforce development policy, and the politics of economic inequality, among other issues. She is a co-founder of Brookings’ popular Social Mobility Memos blog and a frequent public commentator on inequality, mobility, and the long- and short-term implications of the Great Recession for American families.

Earlier in her career, Jacobs served as senior policy advisor to the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress and as an advisor to the U.S. Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. On the Hill, her portfolio encompassed a broad range of economic and social policy issues, including the economic stimulus package, health care reform, and unemployment insurance.

Jacobs holds a Ph.D. and an A.M. from Harvard University, where she was a fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy at the John F. Kennedy School of Government, and a B.A. from Yale University, where she served on the board of directors of Dwight Hall, the Center for Public Service and Social Justice. She lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband, Sam Walsh, and two children.