Steering Committee

WCEG’s Steering Committee provides strategic guidance and expert advice related to overall program development.

The Raben Group Portraits

Melody Barnes

Melody Barnes is CEO of Melody Barnes Solutions LLC, a domestic strategy firm, and Vice Provost for Global Student Leadership Initiatives and Senior Fellow at the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University.  Ms. Barnes also serves as a Senior Director at the Albright Stonebridge Group, a global strategy firm; Chair of the Aspen Institute Forum for Community Solutions; and on the Board of Directors of the Marguerite Casey Foundation.  From January 2009 until January 2012, Ms. Barnes was Assistant to the President and Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council.  As Director of the Domestic Policy Council, she provided strategic advice to President Obama and worked closely with members of the Cabinet coordinating the domestic policy agenda across the Administration.

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Alan Blinder

Alan S. Blinder is the Gordon S. Rentschler Memorial professor of economics and public affairs at Princeton University. He also is vice chairman of the Promontory Interfinancial Network. He has been a member of the Princeton University faculty since 1971, taking time off from 1993 to 1996 for government service, where he served first as a member of President Bill Clinton’s original Council of Economic Advisers and then as vice chairman of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System. Mr. Blinder is the author or co-author of 20 books, including the textbook Economics: Principles and Policy with William Baumol, from which more than two and a half million college students have learned introductory economics. Mr. Blinder’s latest book, After the Music Stopped: The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead, was published in January 2013. He also is a regular columnist for The Wall Street Journal, and appears frequently on television and radio. He is a member of the board of directors of the Council on Foreign Relations, and in 2011 he was elected a Distinguished Fellow of the American Economic Association.

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Raj Chetty

Raj Chetty is the Bloomberg 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 was recently awarded a MacArthur “Genius” Fellowship and the John Bates Clark medal, given by the American Economic Association to the best American economist under age 40. He received his Ph.D. from Harvard in 2003 at the age of 23 and is one of the youngest tenured professors in the university’s history.

Janet Currie

Janet Currie

Janet Currie is the Henry Putnam Professor of Economics and Public Affairs at Princeton University and the Director of Princeton’s Center for Health and Well Being. She also directs the Program on Families and Children at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She is a member of the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies of Sciences, a Fellow of the Econometric Society, and a Fellow of the Society of Labor Economists.  She was elected Vice President of the American Economics Association in 2010, and will be President of the Society of Labor Economists in 2014. She has served as Editor of the Journal of Economic Literature and on the editorial board of the Quarterly Journal of Economics, and has also served several other journals in an editorial capacity including the Journal of Health Economics, the Journal of Labor Economics, and the Journal of Public Economics.  Her research focuses on the health and well-being of children. Her current research focuses on socioeconomic differences in child health, and on environmental threats to children’s health.

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Emmanuel Saez

Emmanuel Saez is Professor of Economics and Director of the Center for Equitable Growth at the University of California Berkeley. His research focuses on tax policy and inequality both from theoretical and empirical perspectives. Jointly with Thomas Piketty, he has constructed long-run historical series of income inequality in the United States that have been widely discussed in the public debate. He received his PhD in Economics from MIT in 1999. He was awarded the John Bates Clark medal of the American Economic Association in 2009 and a MacArthur Fellowship in 2010.

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Robert Solow

Robert M. Solow is the Institute Professor, Emeritus and Professor of Economics, Emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  In 1987, Professor Solow was awarded the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his important contributions to theories of economic growth.  He began teaching economics at MIT in 1949, becoming professor of economics in 1958 and professor emeritus in 1995.  In the 1950s, Solow developed a mathematical model illustrating how various factors can contribute to sustained national economic growth.  Contrary to traditional economic thinking, he showed that advances in the rate of technological progress do more to boost economic growth than capital accumulation and labor increases.  He served on the Council of Economic Advisers in 1961–62 and was a consultant to that body from 1962 to 1968.  From the 1960s on, Solow’s studies helped persuade governments to channel their funds into technological research and development to spur economic growth. Solow received a B.A., an M.A., and a Ph.D. from Harvard University.

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Laura Tyson

Laura D’Andrea Tyson is a Professor at the Haas School of Business, University of California Berkeley. She served as Dean of London Business School from 2002-2006, and as Dean of the Berkeley Haas School of Business from 1998-2001. Tyson is a member of the US Department of State Foreign Affairs Policy Board. She was a member of President Barack Obama’s Council on Jobs and Competitiveness and a member of the President’s Economic Recovery Advisory Board. During the Clinton Administration, she served as the Chair of the Council of Economic Advisers (1993-1995) and as Director of the National Economic Council (1995 – 1996). She currently serves on the board of directors of Morgan Stanley, AT&T, Silver Spring Networks, and CBRE Group Inc.

Research Advisory Board

WCEG is building a Research Advisory Board comprised of an interdisciplinary group of academics and experts to help inform our research and grantmaking activities.  Current members include:

David Autor, Visiting Professor, Harvard University and Professor, MIT Department of Economics

Michael Barr, Professor of Law, University of Michigan

Nancy Birdsall, President, Center for Global Development

Lisa Cook, Associate Professor of Economics and International Relations, Michigan State University

William Darity, Jr.,  Arts & Sciences Professor of Public Policy, African and African American Studies, and Economics, Duke University

Arindrajit Dube, Associate Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Chrystia Freelend, MP, Parliament of Canada

Nancy Folbre, Professor of Economics, University of Massachusetts Amherst

Janet Gornick, Professor of Political Science and Sociology and Director of the Luxembourg Income Study Center, City University of New York

Jacob Hacker, Stanley B. Resor Professor of Political Science and Director of the Institution for Social and Policy Studies, Yale University

David Howell, Professor of Economics and Public Policy and Director of the Doctoral Program in Public and Urban Policy, The New School

David Johnson, Chief, Housing and Household Economic Statistics Division, U.S. Census Bureau

Ariel Kalil, Professor and Director of the Center for Human Potential and Public Policy at the Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago

Larry Katz, Elisabeth Allison Professor of Economics, Harvard University

Gavin Kelly, Chief Executive, Resolution Foundation

Jeffrey Liebman, Malcolm Wiener Professor of Public Policy, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University

Michael Norton, Associate Professor of Business Administration and Marvin Bower Fellow, Harvard Business School

Manuel Pastor, Professor of Sociology and American Studies & Ethnicity, University of Southern California

Robert Reich, Chancellor’s Professor of Public Policy, University of California Berkeley

Jesse Rothstein, Associate Professor of Public Policy and Economics, University of California Berkeley

John Schmitt, Senior Economist, Center for Economic and Policy Research

Theda Skocpol, Victor S. Thomas Professor of Government and Sociology, Harvard University

Amir Sufi, Professor of Finance, Booth School of Business, University of Chicago

Dorian Warren, Associate Professor of Political Science and International and Public Affairs, Columbia University

Mark Zandi, Chief Economist, Moody’s Analytics


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Heather Boushey

Executive Director and Chief Economist

Heather Boushey is Executive Director and Chief Economist at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth and a Senior Fellow at the Center for American Progress.  Her research focuses on economic inequality and public policy, specifically employment, social policy, and family economic well-being. The New York Times has called Boushey one of the “most vibrant voices in the field” and she testifies often before Congress on economic policy issues. Her research has been published in academic journals, she writes regularly for popular media, including The New York Times’ “Room for Debate,” The Atlantic, and Democracy, and she makes frequent television appearances on Bloomberg, MSNBC, CNBC, and PBS. Boushey previously served as an economist for the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress, the Center for Economic and Policy Research, and the Economic Policy Institute. She received her Ph.D. in economics from the New School for Social Research and her B.A. from Hampshire College.


Ed Paisley

Senior Director, Communications and Publications

Ed Paisley is the Senior Director for Communications and Publications at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. Prior to joining WCEG, Ed was a senior director of communications at The Pew Charitable Trusts and the Vice President for Editorial at the Center for American Progress. Ed was previously a business and finance journalist for more than two decades, successfully launching the specialist Wall Street print and web publication The Deal as its managing editor in New York. He worked as an editor and journalist covering business, finance, and politics for the Far Eastern Economic Review, a Dow Jones & Company publication, and Institutional Investor magazine throughout Asia. He began his journalism career with American Banker in Washington, D.C. Ed holds a master’s degree in East Asian history from Georgetown University and a bachelor’s degree in American studies from George Mason University.

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Brad DeLong

Author of "The Equitablog"

Brad DeLong is professor of economics at U.C. Berkeley, a research associate of the NBER, and was from 1993-1995 a deputy assistant secretary of the U.S. Treasury. He teaches economic history, macroeconomics, economic growth, and occasionally finance, political economy, and principles of economics. He writes, mostly, about the changing nature of the business cycle, the mainsprings of economic growth, the current economy in historical perspective, and the past economy in contemporary perspective.  He is still surprised at, and trying to deal with, the fact that he is as likely as not to be introduced not as “the Berkeley professor” or “the economist” or “the economic historian” or “the ex-Treasury staffer” but as “the weblogger”.  He still wishes there were and someday hopes to see and be a part of a resurrected non-partisan technocratic center.  He received his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1987.

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Carter Price

Senior Mathematician

Carter Price is a Senior Mathematician focusing on quantitative analysis of U.S. economic policy.  Prior to joining WCEG, Carter was a Mathematician at the RAND Corporation where he worked on policy issues related to health, defense, the environment, and domestic security.  While at RAND, he worked on the COMPARE microsimulation model studying the United States health insurance system.  Carter earned a Ph.D. in Applied Mathematics from the University of Maryland, College Park and earned a B.A. in Mathematics and Physics from Hendrix College.

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Pedro Spivakovsky-Gonzalez

Junior Economist

Pedro Spivakovsky-Gonzalez is a Junior Economist at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. Prior to joining WCEG, he was a Gates Scholar at the University of Cambridge, where he completed an MPhil in Development Studies. He has worked as a John Gardner Fellow and as a Research Economist at the White House Council of Economic Advisers. Pedro graduated from UC Berkeley in 2010 with degrees in Economics and Political Economy.


Nick Bunker

Research Associate

Nick Bunker is a Research Associate with the Washington Center for Equitable Growth.  Prior to joining WCEG, he was a Research Assistant with the economic policy team at the Center for American Progress.  He graduated from Georgetown University in 2010 with a degree in International Economics.

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Alexandra Mitukiewicz

Research Associate

Alexandra Mitukiewicz is a research associate at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth. Prior to joining Equitable Growth, Alexandra was a research assistant with the economic policy team at the Center for American Progress. She previously worked at Abt Associates and interned at the Center for Economic and Policy Research. Alexandra graduated from Wellesley College in 2011 with a B.A. in economics. She goes by her nickname, Olenka.

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Bridget Ansel

Special Assistant

Bridget Ansel is WCEG’s Special Assistant.  Prior to joining the team, Bridget worked as a research assistant for the Georgetown University History Department and held internships at the Treasury Department and with Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). Bridget graduated from Georgetown University in 2013 with degrees in History and Government.