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Elisabeth Jacobs
Senior Fellow
Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population
Family economic security and economic mobility are complex, multidimensional concepts that require diverse research perspectives and wide-ranging policy expertise. There is no one perfect study, nor is there a silver bullet solution for creating security and opportunity. Instead, we need more evidence than any one scholar can generate, and we need platforms and networks for weaving together that evidence into actionable solutions and agendas for change. With a 50-year history of delivering best-in-class evidence to changemakers in order to inform solutions, hundreds of in-house researchers, and a sterling reputation with academic, public, and private institutions across the nation, Urban is the perfect home for doing this work.

Elisabeth Jacobs is a senior fellow in the Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population at the Urban Institute, focusing on issues related to family economic security and economic mobility. Her previous roles include founding senior director at the Washington Center for Equitable Growth, fellow at the Brookings Institution, and senior policy advisor positions with the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and the United States Joint Economic Committee. Jacobs is a nationally recognized expert on family income and earnings instability, low-wage employment and job quality, and intergenerational mobility and opportunity, as well as a wide range of related policies including social insurance, labor market regulations, and safety net policies. She is a go-to source for media and policymakers looking for clear, concise, and relevant explanations of how research can inform policy debates and agenda setting. Jacobs is an elected member of the National Academy for Social Insurance and a founding member of the American Enterprise Institute–Brookings Paid Family Leave Working Group.

Jacobs holds a BA from Yale University, where she served on the board of trustees for the Dwight Hall Center for Public Service and Social Justice, and a PhD from Harvard University, where she was a fellow in the Multidisciplinary Program in Inequality and Social Policy.