A highly respected group of bipartisan leaders with extensive and diverse experiences across the public policy spectrum has been elected to the Urban Institute's board of trustees. The six new trustees include two leading research economists and two business strategists. Five were high-ranking officials in the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations.
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WASHINGTON, D.C., June 8, 2012 -- A highly respected group of bipartisan leaders with extensive and diverse experiences across the public policy spectrum has been elected to the Urban Institute's board of trustees.
The six new trustees include two leading research economists and two business strategists. Five were high-ranking officials in the Clinton, Bush, and Obama administrations.
David Autor, Donald Baer, Erskine Bowles, Henry Cisneros, Marne Levine, and Greg Mankiw were elected to three-year terms. Nobel Laureate Robert Solow and former Institute President Robert Reischauer were named life trustees as well.
- David H. Autor is a professor of economics and the associate chair of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Department of Economics. His fields of specialization include human capital, skill supply and demand, and earnings inequality; labor market impacts of technological change and globalization; disability insurance and labor force participation; and contingent and intermediated work arrangements. Autor is the codirector of the MIT School Effectiveness and Inequality Initiative and, since 2009, the editor of the Journal of Economic Perspectives.
- Donald A. Baer is the worldwide vice chairman/chief strategy officer of the strategic communications firm Burson-Marsteller and chairman of the research firm Penn, Schoen & Berland. From 1998 to 2007, he was Discovery Communications' senior executive vice president for strategy and development. Baer was a senior adviser to President Bill Clinton (1994-98), including stints as director of strategic planning and communications and as chief speechwriter/director of speechwriting and research. A former media lawyer, reporter, and magazine editor, Baer has won two Writers Guild of America awards for his work on the annual Kennedy Center Honors TV production.
- Erskine B. Bowles, the president of the University of North Carolina from 2006 to 2010, co-chaired President Barack Obama's bipartisan National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform. A former member of the National Economic Council and National Security Council, Bowles served as President Bill Clinton's chief of staff (1996-98), deputy chief of staff (1994-95), and director of the Small Business Administration (1993-94). The founder and former chairman and CEO of the Charlotte investment banking firm that became Bowles Hollowell Connor & Co., Bowles was a general partner of Forstmann Little, a New York private equity firm (1999-2001).
- Henry G. Cisneros, who will join the Urban Institute board in November, is the executive chairman and founder of CityView, an institutional investment firm focused on urban real estate and in-city housing. President Bill Clinton's secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development (1993-97), Cisneros served four terms as the mayor of San Antonio (1981-89) and three terms on its city council. He was the president and COO of the Spanish-language network Univision from 1997 to 2000.
- Marne L. Levine is Facebook's vice president, global public policy. Previously, she was chief of staff of President Barack Obama's National Economic Council and special assistant to the president for economic policy. From 2001 to 2003, Levine served as chief of staff for Harvard University President Larry Summers. During the Clinton administration, she was deputy assistant treasury secretary for banking and finance, serving as the principal strategic and legislative adviser on domestic finance, consumer protection, and community development policy. Levine has also been the director of product management for Revolution Money, a payment network.
- N. Gregory Mankiw, a professor of economics at Harvard University since 1987, has extensively researched price adjustment, consumer behavior, financial markets, monetary and fiscal policy, and economic growth. A prolific writer, he has also written two popular textbooks: Macroeconomics and Principles of Economics, which has sold over a million copies and been translated into 20 languages. Mankiw has been a research associate of the National Bureau of Economic Research and an adviser to the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston and the Congressional Budget Office. From 2003 to 2005, he served as the chairman of President George W. Bush's Council of Economic Advisers.
"These new trustees bring a wealth of experience in academia, government, and the private sector. Among them, they have provided rigorous analyses upon which to base policy, engaged in decisionmaking at the highest levels of government and business, and communicated complex ideas to inform the national debate," said Joel Fleishman, the Urban Institute's chairman. "They will provide invaluable insights as the Institute strives to increase its visibility and its impact on evidence-based policy."
"For more than 40 years, the Urban Institute has been committed to independent research that follows the evidence where it leads to inform policy. Our challenge is to communicate, and where necessary translate, what we have learned so that we reach a broader set of audiences and the results can better inform good policy," said Sarah Rosen Wartell, who became the Institute's third president in late February. "These new trustees not only continue the tradition of excellence for which the Institute is known, but also offer help with new strategies, new technologies, and new relationships in service of the Urban Institute's ever-relevant mission."
Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Solow and former Institute President Robert Reischauer were named life trustees by the board. Robert Solow, a professor emeritus at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, joined the board in 1993 and served as vice chair from 2001 to 2012. Reischauer stepped down as president in February after serving in that role since 2000. A former director of the Congressional Budget Office, Reischauer was the Institute's senior vice president from 1981 to 1986.
Since its 1968 start, the Institute has welcomed many leaders from business, government, and the nonprofit sector to its board. These include investor-philanthropist Warren Buffett; William Coleman, President Gerald Ford's transportation secretary; Washington Post publisher Katharine Graham; Carla Hills, President Ford's housing secretary; Vernon Jordan, lawyer and former president of the National Urban League; Robert McNamara, defense secretary during the Kennedy and Johnson administrations; and Richard Thornburgh, a governor of Pennsylvania who served as attorney general under Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.
The Urban Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy research and educational organization that examines the social, economic, and governance challenges facing the nation. It provides information, analyses, and perspectives to public and private decisionmakers to help them address these problems and strives to deepen citizens’ understanding of the issues and tradeoffs that policymakers face.