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Isabel V. Sawhill

Senior Fellow - Economic Studies

Isabel V. Sawhill is a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution. She served as vice president and director of the Economic Studies program from 2003 to 2006. She has been a co-director with Ron Haskins of the Center on Children and Families. Prior to joining Brookings, Dr. Sawhill was a senior fellow at The Urban Institute. She served in the Clinton Administration as an Associate Director of OMB, where her responsibilities included all of the human resource programs of the federal government, accounting for one third of the federal budget.

Her research has spanned a wide array of economic and social issues, including fiscal policy, economic growth, poverty and inequality. Over the past decade, her major focus has been on how to improve opportunities for disadvantaged children in the U.S.

She has authored or edited numerous books and articles including Generation Unbound: Drifting Into Sex and Parenthood Without Marriage; Creating an Opportunity Society with Ron Haskins; Restoring Fiscal Sanity 2005: Meeting the Long-Run Challenge and Restoring Fiscal Sanity: How to Balance the Budget, both with Alice Rivlin; and One Percent for the Kids: New Policies, Brighter Futures for America’s Children.

Dr. Sawhill helped to found The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and now serves as the president of its board. She has been a Visiting Professor at Georgetown Law School, Director of the National Commission for Employment Policy, and President of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. She also serves on a number of boards.

Sawhill was a recipient of the Exemplar Award from the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (2014) and the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Prize with Ron Haskins, from the American Academy of Political and Social Science (2016). She was named a Distinguished Fellow by the American Economic Association in 2016.

She attended Wellesley College and received her Ph.D. from New York University.

Isabel V. Sawhill is a senior fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution. She served as vice president and director of the Economic Studies program from 2003 to 2006. She has been a co-director with Ron Haskins of the Center on Children and Families. Prior to joining Brookings, Dr. Sawhill was a senior fellow at The Urban Institute. She served in the Clinton Administration as an Associate Director of OMB, where her responsibilities included all of the human resource programs of the federal government, accounting for one third of the federal budget.

Her research has spanned a wide array of economic and social issues, including fiscal policy, economic growth, poverty and inequality. Over the past decade, her major focus has been on how to improve opportunities for disadvantaged children in the U.S.

She has authored or edited numerous books and articles including Generation Unbound: Drifting Into Sex and Parenthood Without Marriage; Creating an Opportunity Society with Ron Haskins; Restoring Fiscal Sanity 2005: Meeting the Long-Run Challenge and Restoring Fiscal Sanity: How to Balance the Budget, both with Alice Rivlin; and One Percent for the Kids: New Policies, Brighter Futures for America’s Children.

Dr. Sawhill helped to found The National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy and now serves as the president of its board. She has been a Visiting Professor at Georgetown Law School, Director of the National Commission for Employment Policy, and President of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management. She also serves on a number of boards.

Sawhill was a recipient of the Exemplar Award from the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (2014) and the Daniel Patrick Moynihan Prize with Ron Haskins, from the American Academy of Political and Social Science (2016). She was named a Distinguished Fellow by the American Economic Association in 2016.

She attended Wellesley College and received her Ph.D. from New York University.

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