News Release

The Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution Appoints Kristin F. Butcher as New Director

Thursday, July 1, 2021

Washington, D.C. – Kristin F. Butcher has been appointed Director of the Center on Children and Families, the Cabot Family Chair, and Senior Fellow in Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, beginning July 1. Butcher succeeds Senior Fellow Richard Reeves, who will continue his work as director of the Future of the Middle Class Initiative and the new Boys and Men Project.

“I am excited to have Kristin on board as the new leader of our Center on Children and Families,” said Vice President and Director of the Brookings Institution Economic Studies Program Stephanie Aaronson. “Her deep knowledge of issues facing families in the U.S. uniquely suits her to lead the work of the Center and is especially critical in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. I am looking forward to the contributions she will make to our research and the new work streams the team will be able to pursue under her guidance.”

Butcher joins Brookings from Wellesley College where she chaired the economics department for six years and is the inaugural holder of the Marshall I. Goldman Chair in Economics. She is an applied microeconomist whose research focuses on children and families, immigration, health, criminal justice, labor economics, social mobility, and higher education. She is also a research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research. Previously, she held positions as a senior economist in the research department at the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago, as a program officer at the MacArthur Foundation, as a faculty member at Boston College and the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, and as a visiting faculty member at Princeton University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. She received her Ph.D. and M.A. in economics from Princeton University, an M.Sc. in economics from the London School of Economics, and a B.A. in economics from Wellesley College.

“The Center on Children and Families could not be passing into better hands,” said former Director of the Center on Children and Families and Senior Fellow Richard Reeves. “We are proud of our history of strong scholarship, creative partnerships and policy impact, and Kristin has the perfect blend of skills and experience to lead us into the next chapter. We are so lucky to have her!”

“As a founder of the Center on Children and Families, I am very pleased that Kristin Butcher will be taking the helm and bringing new energy and ideas to our Center,” said Senior Fellow Isabel Sawhill.

The Center on Children and Families studies policies that affect the well-being of America’s children and their parents, especially children in less advantaged families. The Center addresses the issues of poverty, inequality, and lack of opportunity in the United States and seeks to find more effective means of addressing these problems.

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.