Media Name: elisabethjacobs.jpg
Elisabeth Jacobs
Senior Fellow
Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population
  • Profile
  • Outside Affiliations
  • 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 adviser positions with the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions and the US 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.

    Outside Affiliations
    National Academy of Social Insurance
    Advisory Board member

    Urban experts are permitted and empowered to work and affiliate with outside organizations, whether serving on boards, volunteering their time, or providing advice and counsel. And Urban welcomes visiting scholars, nonresident or affiliated fellows who work for other organizations. These outside affiliations enrich our perspectives and our learning environment. We also require all paid and unpaid experts to disclose their affiliations to Urban leadership and follow rules governing their engagement to ensure transparency for audiences and independence of experts.