Byron Auguste joins Equitable Growth Steering Committee

Elena Waskey,

WASHINGTON – The Washington Center for Equitable Growth announced today that economist Byron Auguste, co-founder and CEO of Opportunity@Work, has joined the organization’s Steering Committee to help guide the organization’s efforts to study how economic inequality affects economic growth and stability, and to build a new narrative about what makes the U.S. economy grow. Auguste also serves as a member of Equitable Growth’s Board of Directors.

As a member of the Steering Committee, Auguste will advise on the organization’s academic grants program and help strengthen connections within Equitable Growth’s growing academic community, especially in supporting the next generation of scholars.

“Byron is a critical voice in the economics field,” said incoming Equitable Growth President and CEO Michelle Holder. “Every day, he uses his knowledge as an economist to inform real-world debates about what makes the economy grow and how to rewire the labor market so all people can contribute their talents and receive the full benefits of their work, regardless of their educational attainment level. I have no doubt his contribution to the Steering Committee will be extensive. Steering Committee members help us provide research support to a new generation of scholars to investigate the various channels through which economic inequality, in all its forms, affects economic growth and stability.”

“Since its founding, Equitable Growth has seeded cutting-edge research, contributing to a new understanding of the ways inequality can undermine economic dynamism and connecting that research with policymakers to make better-informed decisions,” said Auguste. “It has contributed to a new governing moment, in which we might build an economy in which meaningful work, caregiving, and innovation in communities and small business are better valued and rewarded. It’s an exciting time to partner with Equitable Growth’s team and the Steering Committee to help guide this vital work.”

Auguste has a long and diverse career in the private, public, and nonprofit sectors. He co-founded and serves as CEO of Opportunity@Work, a nonprofit social enterprise that seeks to expand access to career opportunities so that all Americans can work, learn, and earn to their full potential in a dynamic economy. Auguste is the co-author of “Searching for STARs: Work Experience as a Job Market Signal for Workers without Bachelor’s Degrees,” an NBER working paper that explores the extent to which workers who are skilled through alternative routes, or STARs, can help fill the skills gap.

Before that, he served as deputy assistant to the president for economic policy and deputy director of the National Economic Council in the Obama administration, served on the Biden Policy Institute’s policy advisory board, and in 2020, co-chaired the Biden-Harris Economic Policy Committee. In 2005, he was elected director at McKinsey & Company, the first African American in that role. He has served on the board of trustees of the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, Yale University, the Pacific Council on International Policy, and Hope Street Group, and is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. Auguste earned a B.A. summa cum laude in economics and political science from Yale University, where he was awarded a Truman Scholarship and the James Gordon Bennett Prize, and a M.Phil. and D.Phil. in economics from Oxford University as a Marshall Scholar.

The Equitable Growth Steering Committee is made up of leading academics and former senior policymakers, including Princeton University economics and public affairs professor Alan Blinder; Michigan State University economics professor Lisa D. Cook; Harvard University economics professor Karen Dynan; Harvard Kennedy School economic policy professor Jason Furman; University of California, Berkeley economics and public policy professor Hilary Hoynes; Princeton University economics, public policy, and finance professor Atif Mian; Equitable Growth co-founder John Podesta; and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor emeritus Robert Solow.


The Washington Center for Equitable Growth is a nonprofit research and grantmaking organization dedicated to advancing evidence-backed ideas and policies that promote strong, stable, and broad-based economic growth. For more information, see and follow us on Twitter and Facebook @equitablegrowth.

August 3, 2021


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