News Release

Isabel Sawhill Named Vice President and Director of Economic Studies at Brookings

June 3, 2003

Isabel Sawhill, an economist specializing in domestic social policy, has been appointed vice president and director of the Economic Studies program at the Brookings Institution, Brookings President Strobe Talbott announced today.

Sawhill, who has been a senior fellow in Economic Studies since 1997, succeeds Robert Litan, who on August 1 becomes vice president for research and policy at the Kauffman Foundation in Kansas City, Missouri. Litan will remain a senior fellow at Brookings and continue as director of the AEI-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, which he co-founded.

“I’m grateful to Belle for taking over from Bob the leadership of our superb team of economists,” said Talbott. “Like Bob, Belle personifies the qualities Brookings stands for—rigorous, independent research devoted to the improvement of public policy.”

Sawhill is co-director of the Brookings Welfare Reform & Beyond project and a director of the Brookings Roundtable on Children. She also serves as board president of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy, a private-sector, nonpartisan organization.

In addition to her interest in children and families, Sawhill has studied issues ranging from fiscal policy to economic growth to poverty and inequality. Prior to joining Brookings, she was a senior fellow at the Urban Institute. Between 1993 and 1995, she was an associate director at the Office of Management and Budget, where her responsibilities included all of the human resource programs of the federal government, including education, training, welfare, and Social Security, which account for one-third of the federal budget.

Sawhill is an author or editor of numerous books and articles, including: One Percent for the Kids: New Policies, Brighter Futures for America’s Children (Brookings, 2003); Welfare Reform and Beyond: The Future of the Safety Net (Brookings, 2002); Updating America’s Social Contract: Economic Growth and Opportunity in the New Century (W.W. Norton & Company, 2000); and Getting Ahead: Economic and Social Mobility in America (Urban Institute, 1998). She also has written for the Washington Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and other newspapers.

Litan has been affiliated with Brookings for nearly twenty years, first as a senior fellow and since 1996 as director of Economic Studies and holder of the Cabot Family Chair in Economics. During this time, he authored or co-authored more than twenty-five books and 200 articles in professional journals and magazines. Litan will continue to co-edit the Brookings-Wharton Papers on Financial Services, as well as an annual volume based on a conference on finance in emerging market countries (with the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund).

Litan has had a distinguished career in public service. He served on the staff of the Council of Economic Advisers (1977-79), as deputy assistant attorney general in the antitrust division of the Justice Department (1993-95), and as associate director of the Office of Management and Budget (1995-96). He also has been a consultant to the Treasury Department on financial policy issues.

The Kauffman Foundation is devoted to advancing entrepreneurship in the United States and around the world.

About Brookings

The Brookings Institution is a nonprofit organization based in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to conduct in-depth, nonpartisan research to improve policy and governance at local, national, and global levels.