Senior Fellow; Senior Adviser, American Worker Project


David Madland

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David Madland is a senior fellow and the senior adviser to the American Worker Project at American Progress. He has been called “one of the nation’s wisest young scholars” by Washington Post columnist E.J. Dionne Jr.

Madland is the author of Re-Union: How Bold Labor Reforms Can Repair, Revitalize, and Reunite the United States(Cornell University Press, 2021) and Hollowed Out: Why the Economy Doesn’t Work without a Strong Middle Class(University of California Press, 2015). Mary Kay Henry, president of the Service Employees International Union, says, “David’s work is creating a North Star for how we increase workers’ power in the economy and democracy.”

He has appeared frequently on television shows, including “PBS NewsHour” and CNN’s “Crossfire”; been cited in such publications as The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, and The New Yorker; and been a guest on dozens of radio talk shows across the United States. He has testified before Congress on a number of occasions, as well as several state legislatures.

Madland writes frequently about the economy and American politics, especially the middle class, economic inequality, labor unions, retirement policy, and workplace standards such as the minimum wage. He worked on economic policy for former Rep. George Miller (D-CA) and has consulted for several labor unions. He is the co-author of Interest Groups in American Campaigns, and his dissertation about the decline of the U.S. pension system was honored as the best dissertation of the year by the Labor and Employment Relations Association.

Madland received his doctorate in government from Georgetown University and has a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley. At American Progress, he previously served as the managing director for Economic Policy and the director of the American Worker Project.

Latest by David Madland

Fact Sheet: How State and Local Governments Can Make Climate Jobs Good Jobs Fact Sheet

Fact Sheet: How State and Local Governments Can Make Climate Jobs Good Jobs

Tackling climate change will require state and local action alongside federal policy change. State and local policymakers can ensure that good jobs are created in the new clean economy by focusing on five proven job-quality strategies.

David Madland, Terry Meginniss

Workers’ Boards: A Brief Overview Fact Sheet
A dishwasher walks through the dining room at a restaurant in Washington, D.C., June 2016. (Getty/J. Lawler Duggan/The Washington Post)

Workers’ Boards: A Brief Overview

By developing policies for workers’ boards—governmental bodies that bring together representatives of workers, employers, and the public—state and local policymakers can raise minimum wage rates, benefits, and workplace standards across entire occupations, sectors, and industries.

Kate Andrias, David Madland, Malkie Wall

Workers’ Boards: Frequently Asked Questions Fact Sheet
The check-out line at a market in Delray Beach, Florida, February 2018. (People stand in a check-out line)

Workers’ Boards: Frequently Asked Questions

Workers’ boards—also known as wage boards or industry committees—set minimum wage rates, benefits, and workplace standards for an entire occupation, sector, or industry. Boards can raise wages for both low- and middle-income workers, and they are particularly helpful in industries where traditional collective bargaining is difficult.

Kate Andrias, David Madland, Malkie Wall