Urban Institute Selects Myra Jones-Taylor to Lead Evidence-Based Policy Impact Efforts

Contact: Media@Urban.org or (202) 261-5709 

WASHINGTON, DC, September 30, 2021 – The Urban Institute announced today the selection of Myra Jones-Taylor to lead the institution’s policy impact strategy. As the first chief policy impact officer, Jones-Taylor will work with experts and analysts across Urban to help maximize the impact of their research and evidence-based recommendations, while also helping tell the story of how their work changes lives and strengthens communities. 

As an organization, Urban does not take positions on issues, but it does empower and support its experts in sharing their own evidence-based views and policy recommendations that have been shaped by scholarship. Urban scholars and experts are expected to strive for objectivity and follow the evidence wherever it may lead.

“I am excited for Myra’s arrival. As a trained scholar, former policymaker, and current policy strategist, she understands the way evidence from research can inform decisionmaking,” said Sarah Rosen Wartell, president of the Urban Institute. “I am eager for Urban to be even more strategic and intentional in delivering relevant and timely insights from evidence.”  

Slated to join Urban in April 2022, Jones-Taylor will bring a wealth of policy impact experience to the institution. Currently the chief policy officer at ZERO TO THREE, the national leader on infant and toddler policy and program development, Jones-Taylor heads the organization’s federal and state policy and advocacy work while simultaneously serving as its spokesperson on all policy issues. Before ZERO TO THREE, Jones-Taylor was Connecticut’s founding commissioner of early childhood, leading the cabinet-level state agency responsible for early care and education, home visiting, early intervention, and child care licensing. 

“I am thrilled to begin this new journey with Urban and to use the institution’s extraordinary work to elevate today’s most pressing debates and provide changemakers with the evidence to accelerate solutions,” said Jones-Taylor. “I look forward to building on Urban’s long history of policy impact at the local, state, and federal levels.” 

Before beginning at Urban, Jones-Taylor, who was recently named a New America national fellow, will complete a book that reveals the central tensions in child care policy and how they have led to the current child care crisis. Jones-Taylor has a doctorate in American studies and anthropology from Yale University and is an active board member of national organizations committed to equity and supporting the needs of young children and families, such as All Our Kin and the Irving Harris Foundation. Additionally, she writes and speaks about race, racial identity, and social inequality.

About the Urban Institute 

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.