Margaret Simms is an Institute fellow in the Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population at the Urban Institute, where she directs the Low-Income Working Families project. 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.
Before joining Urban in 2007, Simms was vice president for governance and economic analysis at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. She began working at the joint center in 1986 as deputy director of research and held positions of increasing responsibility during her 20-year tenure. From May 1 through December 31, 2006, she served as interim president. Before joining the staff of the joint center, she was a program director at Urban.
In 2005, Simms was elected to membership in the American Academy of Arts and Sciences; in 2008, she received the Samuel Z. Westerfield Award from the National Economic Association. She was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree from Carleton College, Minnesota, in 2010.
Simms holds a BA in economics from Carleton College and a PhD in economics from Stanford University.