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Xav Briggs

Xavier de Souza Briggs

Nonresident Senior Fellow - Metropolitan Policy Program

Xavier (Xav) de Souza Briggs is a nonresident senior fellow at the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings and an expert on economic opportunity, racial and social inequality, urban development and governance, both in the U.S. and abroad. An award-winning educator and researcher as well as an experienced manager in philanthropy and government, he is Distinguished Visiting Professor of Business, Public Service and Sociology at New York University.

Xav edited The Geography of Opportunity: Race and Housing Choice in Metropolitan America (Brookings, 2005), which won planning’s top book award, as well as Democracy as Problem Solving: Civic Capacity in Communities Across the Globe (MIT Press, 2008) and Moving to Opportunity: The Story of an American Experiment to Fight Ghetto Poverty (Oxford University Press, 2010). He has written numerous articles and commentaries, and his views have appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, CNN, and other major media, in English and in Spanish.

Prior to joining Brookings in 2020, he served for the past six years as vice president of the Ford Foundation, overseeing the foundation’s inclusive economies and markets work globally along with its regional program teams based in China, India, and Indonesia. Following a reorganization, he helped the foundation consolidate and launch the division of U.S. Programs—overseeing domestic programming in a wide range of areas, including civic engagement and government; creativity and free expression; gender, racial, and ethnic justice; the future of work and workers; technology and society; housing affordability and equitable urban development; and impact investing. He led the foundation’s efforts to build the field of impact investing and commit $1 billion of endowment assets for that purpose over a decade. He was a member of the executive committee of the board of Living Cities, a consortium of America’s largest private foundations and financial companies.

Prior to joining the foundation, Xav was professor of sociology and urban planning in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and served as head of MIT’s Housing, Community, and Economic Development Group.  From January 2009 to August 2011, while on public service leave from MIT, Xav served as associate director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. There he oversaw a wide array of policy, budget, and management issues for roughly half of the cabinet agencies of the federal government. Xav has also served as a community planner in the South Bronx, a policy adviser and R&D director at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a fellow of the Urban Institute, and associate professor of public policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

He serves on the board of the Global Impact Investing Network and is an elected member of the National Academy of Public Administration. Xav holds an engineering degree from Stanford University, an MPA from Harvard, and a PhD in sociology and education from Columbia University. He also studied as a Rotary Scholar at the Federal University of Bahia in Brazil.

Xavier (Xav) de Souza Briggs is a nonresident senior fellow at the Metropolitan Policy Program at Brookings and an expert on economic opportunity, racial and social inequality, urban development and governance, both in the U.S. and abroad. An award-winning educator and researcher as well as an experienced manager in philanthropy and government, he is Distinguished Visiting Professor of Business, Public Service and Sociology at New York University.

Xav edited The Geography of Opportunity: Race and Housing Choice in Metropolitan America (Brookings, 2005), which won planning’s top book award, as well as Democracy as Problem Solving: Civic Capacity in Communities Across the Globe (MIT Press, 2008) and Moving to Opportunity: The Story of an American Experiment to Fight Ghetto Poverty (Oxford University Press, 2010). He has written numerous articles and commentaries, and his views have appeared in the New York Times, Boston Globe, CNN, and other major media, in English and in Spanish.

Prior to joining Brookings in 2020, he served for the past six years as vice president of the Ford Foundation, overseeing the foundation’s inclusive economies and markets work globally along with its regional program teams based in China, India, and Indonesia. Following a reorganization, he helped the foundation consolidate and launch the division of U.S. Programs—overseeing domestic programming in a wide range of areas, including civic engagement and government; creativity and free expression; gender, racial, and ethnic justice; the future of work and workers; technology and society; housing affordability and equitable urban development; and impact investing. He led the foundation’s efforts to build the field of impact investing and commit $1 billion of endowment assets for that purpose over a decade. He was a member of the executive committee of the board of Living Cities, a consortium of America’s largest private foundations and financial companies.

Prior to joining the foundation, Xav was professor of sociology and urban planning in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and served as head of MIT’s Housing, Community, and Economic Development Group.  From January 2009 to August 2011, while on public service leave from MIT, Xav served as associate director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. There he oversaw a wide array of policy, budget, and management issues for roughly half of the cabinet agencies of the federal government. Xav has also served as a community planner in the South Bronx, a policy adviser and R&D director at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, a fellow of the Urban Institute, and associate professor of public policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.

He serves on the board of the Global Impact Investing Network and is an elected member of the National Academy of Public Administration. Xav holds an engineering degree from Stanford University, an MPA from Harvard, and a PhD in sociology and education from Columbia University. He also studied as a Rotary Scholar at the Federal University of Bahia in Brazil.

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