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Jack Smalligan
Senior Policy Fellow
Income and Benefits Policy Center
Developing public policy solutions can be a creative, entrepreneurial process that engages the research, evidence, program history, legal context, and political environment to uncover alternative ways of addressing a problem. For 27 years, I engaged this process in career positions within the Executive Office of the President. I joined Urban to continue to develop policy solutions with colleagues who have a deep understanding of the research and evidence base.

Jack Smalligan is a senior policy fellow in the Income and Benefits Policy Center at the Urban Institute. He analyzes the interactions across disability, retirement, and paid leave policy. Previously, he was deputy associate director at the Office of Management and Budget.

As director of the Education, Income Maintenance, and Labor Division, Smalligan was responsible for oversight and analysis of programs in the US Departments of Education and Labor, the Social Security Administration, and low-income assistance programs in the US Department of Health and Human Services Administration on Children and Families, US Department of Agriculture Food and Nutrition Service, and the US Treasury (earned income tax credit). Over 27 years, Smalligan served five administrations, working extensively on Social Security issues for four of them.

Smalligan developed policies that have been incorporated into many pieces of legislation, including the North Atlantic Free Trade Agreement of 1993, the Taxpayer Relief Act of 1997, and the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. In 2012, he was a guest scholar at the Brookings Institution, where he analyzed the Social Security disability programs and with Jeff Liebman published recommendations that helped influence the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2015.

In late 2020, Jack Smalligan served as a member of the Social Security Administration Agency Review Team for the Biden-Harris Transition Team.

Smalligan received a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Michigan.

Research Areas
Wealth and financial well-being
Aging and retirement
Social safety net
Taxes and budgets
Disability equity policy
Retirement policy
Job markets and labor force
Pay for success