Lisa Cook, Hilary Hoynes, Atif Mian join Equitable Growth Steering Committee

New members to support organization’s efforts to advance evidence-backed policies and ideas to promote strong, stable, broadly shared growth

Erica Handloff,

WASHINGTON – The Washington Center for Equitable Growth announced today that three distinguished economists—Lisa D. Cook of Michigan State University, Hilary Hoynes of the University of California, Berkeley, and Atif Mian of Princeton University—have joined its Steering Committee to help guide the organization’s efforts to study economic inequality and its impact on economic growth and stability, and to build a new narrative about what makes the U.S. economy grow. As Steering Committee members, they will advise on the organization’s growing academic grants program and help strengthen connections to (and among) our academic community, especially in supporting the next generation of scholars.

“We’re thrilled that this trio of leaders in their fields are joining our Steering Committee,” said Equitable Growth President and CEO Heather Boushey. “As we continue to enhance our academic engagement, they will help us to identify the most pressing research questions related to inequality and economic growth, as well as the rising stars engaged in advanced, innovative scholarship. With their extensive engagement with the policy process, they also exemplify Equitable Growth’s mission to bring together researchers and policymakers seeking to advance evidence-based agendas to address national problems.”

Lisa D. Cook, who has been a member of the Equitable Growth Research Advisory Board since its launch, is a professor in the Department of Economics and in international relations (James Madison College) at Michigan State University. Among her current research interests are economic growth and development, financial institutions and markets, innovation, and economic history. She has served as a senior economist at the president’s Council of Economic Advisers and a senior advisor at the U.S. Department of the Treasury. Cook was the first Marshall Scholar from Spelman College, where she earned her B.A. She received a second B.A. from Oxford University and her Ph.D. in economics from the University of California, Berkeley.

“Through its events, convenings, and academic grants, Equitable Growth is a key player in cutting-edge research on economic inequality and growth,” Cook said. “Solutions to building a more equitable and broadly shared economy will continue to be at the forefront as long as wages and economic mobility remain stagnant and the overall concentration of wealth remains at the top. I am thrilled to offer my support to the organization, as well as help drive conversations and action that address how we can strengthen our economy.”

Hilary Hoynes is a professor of economics and public policy and holds the Haas distinguished chair in economic disparities at the University of California, Berkeley, where she also co-directs the Berkeley Opportunity Lab. Her research focuses on poverty, inequality, food and nutrition programs, and the impacts of government tax and transfer programs on low-income families. She was previously awarded an Equitable Growth academic grant, and she served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Building an Agenda to Reduce the Number of Children in Poverty by Half in 10 Years. Hoynes received her Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University and her undergraduate degree from Colby College.

“Equitable Growth’s extensive research is critical to understanding the economic and social disparities individuals and communities face, especially as the coronavirus recession has revealed the ways in which the economy does not work for the majority of families,” Hoynes said. “It’s more important than ever for individuals and policymakers who want to build an economy that works for all—not just the few—to have access to evidence-based ideas and solutions. I’m excited to help guide the organization in building even stronger bridges between academics and policymakers.”

Atif Mian is the John H. Laporte, Jr. Class of 1967 professor of economics, public policy, and finance at Princeton University and director of the Julis-Rabinowitz Center for Public Policy and Finance at the Princeton School of Public and International Affairs. A co-author with Amir Sufi on House of Debt, a book that describes how debt precipitated the Great Recession, Mian’s work examines the connections between finance and the macroeconomy. He earned his B.A. and his Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He was also previously awarded an Equitable Growth academic grant.

“The economic gap between the wealthy and the rest of society is the widest it has been in nearly a century,” Mian said. “Understanding how that growing inequality affects both the economy and broader society is the first step in understanding how to address those disparities. Equitable Growth not only invests in research that explores a diverse range of issues but also connects academics with policymakers so that research can turn into potential solutions that benefit the majority of society.”

The Equitable Growth Steering Committee comprises leading academics and former senior policymakers, including Nobel Laureate Robert Solow, former Federal Reserve Board of Governors Chair Janet Yellen and Vice Chair Alan Blinder, former White House Council of Economic Advisers Chair Jason Furman, former Treasury Department chief economist Karen Dynan, former White House Chief of Staff and Equitable Growth co-founder John Podesta, and Equitable Growth President and CEO Heather Boushey. After 7 years on the committee, founding members Emmanuel Saez of the University of California, Berkeley and Janet Currie of Princeton University are departing. Other founding members included Harvard University economist Raj Chetty, former Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council Melody Barnes, and former Chair of the White House Council of Economic Advisers and now UC Berkeley economist Laura Tyson.


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.

October 28, 2020


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