Margaret C. Simms is an Institute fellow at the Urban Institute and director of the Institute's Low-Income Working Families project since 2007. A nationally recognized expert on the economic well-being of African Americans, her current work focuses on low-income families, with an emphasis on employment and asset building. Simms has also edited many books and monographs, including Job Creation Prospects and Strategies (with Wilhelmina Leigh), Economic Perspectives on Affirmative Action, and Slipping Through the Cracks: The Status of Black Women (with Julianne Malveaux).
Simms spent 21 years (1986-2007) with the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies in a number of leadership positions. She was a senior research associate at the Urban Institute from 1979 to 1986 and directed the Institute's Minorities and Social Policy Program from 1981 to 1986.
Simms was editor of the Review of Black Political Economy from 1983 to 1988. She is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. The National Economic Association presented her with the Samuel Z. Westerfield Award in 2008 and Carleton College awarded her an honorary doctor of laws degree in 2010.