Press Releases Urban Institute Adds Two New Leaders to Its Board of Trustees
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December 3, 2020 – The Urban Institute has elected two new members to its board of trustees: Karan Bhatia, head of global policy and government relations at Google, and Neel Kashkari, president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Bhatia’s term began last month, and Kashkari will join formally in spring 2021.  In addition, Stacy Brown-Philpot, who was elected in May 2020, began her term last month. 

“Our country is facing growing inequality. These new board members will help Urban find bold and creative solutions to increase opportunity for everyone,” said board chair Jamie Gorelick. “They will advise us on how we can use data and evidence both to reimagine a brighter future and to help our nation’s leaders get to that future faster.”

“Our new trustees bring deep policy experience and insights spanning technology, finance, and government,” said president Sarah Rosen Wartell. “They join an illustrious group of leaders who will guide Urban through a new chapter, as we help the country recover, rebuild, and reemerge stronger and more equitable than before.”


Karan Bhatia leads global policy and government relations at Google, where he advises leadership on policy issues and spearheads Google’s work with policymakers, government officials, and key political stakeholders in the United States and around the world. Previously, Bhatia was president of General Electric’s government affairs and policy group and served in senior US government positions related to international economic and trade policy, including Deputy US Trade Representative. He is a former member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Future Council on International Trade and Investment and sits on several nonprofit and trade association boards focused on international economic policy.

Neel Kashkari is president and chief executive officer of the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Under his leadership, the bank established the Opportunity & Inclusive Growth Institute, which conducts research to improve Americans’ economic well-being. The bank also is home to the Center for Indian Country Development, a clearinghouse for resources and initiatives concerning Native economic development and the Reserve System’s principal point of contact and key supporter of the Fed in fulfilling its responsibility to Indian Country. The Minneapolis Fed has developed an action plan on “Ending Too Big to Fail,” which calls for tighter bank regulations to avoid future taxpayer bailouts of large financial institutions.  Previously, Kashkari worked for Goldman Sachs and served in several senior positions at the US Department of the Treasury.

A full list of Urban Institute trustees can be found here.

The nonprofit Urban Institute is a leading research organization dedicated to developing evidence-based insights that improve people’s lives and strengthen communities. For 50 years, Urban has been the trusted source for rigorous analysis of complex social and economic issues; strategic advice to policymakers, philanthropists, and practitioners; and new, promising ideas that expand opportunities for all. Our work inspires effective decisions that advance fairness and enhance the well-being of people and places.