Myra Jones-Taylor is senior vice president for impact and external affairs at the Urban Institute, overseeing communications, development, government affairs, and policy impact. With these teams, she sets the vision for how researchers and policy experts across Urban can maximize the impact of their findings and evidence-based recommendations while helping tell the story of how their work changes lives and strengthens communities.
Before joining Urban, Jones-Taylor was the chief policy officer at ZERO TO THREE, where she led the development and implementation of the organization’s policy agenda, priorities, and strategies while serving as the principal spokesperson on all policy matters. She previously served as Connecticut’s founding commissioner of early childhood, leading the cabinet-level state agency that serves all children from birth to age 5 and is responsible for early care and education, home visiting, and early intervention and child care licensing. During her time as commissioner, the state agency was awarded $50 million in new, competitive federal grants and expanded access to high-quality preschool to 25 percent more 3- and 4-year-olds.
Jones-Taylor was a class of 2022 New America national fellow and has been both an Ascend fellow and a Pahara fellow of the Aspen Institute. She writes and speaks about racial identity, systemic racism, and social inequality and has appeared in the Atlantic and on the Longest Shortest Time podcast. Jones-Taylor received a joint doctorate in American studies and anthropology from Yale University.