WASHINGTON – Pamela Loprest, a national authority on welfare and disability policy, has become the director of the Urban Institute's Income and Benefits Policy Center on January 3, 2011.
A 19-year veteran of the Urban Institute, Loprest has earned a reputation for excellence in labor economics through her extensive quantitative analyses. She is widely published in professional journals and is the co-author of three books: Meeting the Needs of Children with Disabilities (with Laudan Aron), Leaving Welfare (with Greg Acs), and Serving Children with Disabilities (with Laudan Aron and Eugene Steuerle).
Much of Loprest's work focuses on disadvantaged and low-income populations and labor market policies that improve these groups' well-being.
Loprest helped develop the Survey of Employers in the Low-skill Labor Market and the National Survey of America's Families. She has also played critical roles in the Institute's cross-center Low-Income Working Families and Assessing the New Federalism projects.
"Pam's outstanding research on welfare, disability and labor policy and her long-standing commitment to developing effective policy to help our nation's most vulnerable residents make her a natural leader for the Institute's Income and Benefits Policy Center," said Robert Reischauer, president of the Urban Institute. "Stubbornly high unemployment and rising poverty rates present the toughest income security challenges the nation has faced in decades. Pam's expertise and guidance will prove very valuable in these challenging times."
Loprest succeeds Sheila Zedlewski, who stepped down after more than 18 years as director of the Income and Benefit Policy Center. Zedlewski will now contribute to the center as an Institute fellow.
Loprest joined the Income and Benefits Policy Center in 1991 as a research associate, while finishing her doctorate in economics at Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The Urban Institute is a nonprofit, nonpartisan policy research and educational organization that examines the social, economic, and governance challenges facing the nation. It provides information, analyses, and perspectives to public and private decision makers to help them address these problems and strives to deepen citizens' understanding of the issues and trade-offs that policymakers face.
The Income & Benefits Policy Center studies how public policy influences the behavior and economic well-being of families, particularly the disabled, the elderly, and those with low incomes. Scholars look at income support, social insurance, tax, child-support, and employee-benefit programs.