Jan 13

Past Event

Social Mobility Summit: Keynote Remarks by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Representative Paul Ryan

Event Materials




Brookings Multimedia content requires JavaScript. Your browser either doesn't have JavaScript or doesn't have it enabled.

Instructions to enable JavaScript.


President Obama recently described the lack of upward social mobility, along with inequality, as “the defining challenge of our time.” Concerns are growing on both sides of the political aisle that for too many Americans, birth defines destiny. Rates of social mobility in the U.S. are lower than in most comparable nations. The question is: what can be done?

On January 13 (Horatio Alger’s 182nd birthday), the Center on Children and Families hosted its first annual Social Mobility Summit, with scholars, policymakers and leading politicians focused on the policy challenges posed by stagnant rates of social mobility.

The Social Mobility Summit opened with a public keynote address from Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) from 9:00 to 9:30 am, and closed with a public keynote address from Congressman Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) from 4:00 to 4:30 pm. Sen. Gillibrand and Rep. Ryan each layed out their personal vision for how we can promote social mobility in the U.S. today.


5 Strong Starts to Boost Social Mobility

January 13, 2014

During the day, the Center on Children and Families is holding a series of private working sessions with leading scholars. Each session addressed a critical life stage for the promotion of social mobility: family formation, the early years, K-12 education, college education, and transitions into work. Blog posts based on presentations made at these sessions are available on the Social Mobility Memos blog following the event.

Join the conversation on Twitter at #mobilitysummit.

Event Agenda


January 13, 2014

9:00 AM - 4:30 PM EST

Falk Auditorium

1775 Massachusetts Ave., NW


Join the Conversation


For More Information

Brookings Office of Communications