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Demos Announces Tamara Draut new Vice President for Policy and Programs; Welcomes Nancy Cauthen as Director of the Economic Oppo

For Immediate Release
March 11, 2009

Contact: Demos Press Office,, (212) 389-1407

Demos Announces Tamara Draut new Vice President for Policy and Programs; Welcomes Nancy Cauthen as Director of the Economic Opportunity Program

New York, NY--This week Demos, a national, non-partisan public policy research and advocacy center, is pleased to announce two significant staffing changes:

Tamara Draut has been named Vice President for Policy and Programs, joining Demos President Miles Rapoport in the executive leadership of the organization. Previously, she served for nearly eight years as Director of the Economic Opportunity Program at Demos, where she oversaw research, policy and advocacy efforts on issues related to economic security and mobility in America's households.

Draut is also the author of the book "Strapped: Why America's 20- and 30-Somethings Can't Get Ahead," published by Doubleday in 2006, and several groundbreaking reports on the growing unstable economic condition of households in the United States, including "Borrowing to Make Ends Meet: The Growth of Credit Card Debt in America" "The Plastic Safety Net" and "The Economic State of Young America. She has overseen the development of significant new areas of work, including two national surveys of indebted low-and-middle income households and the development of a Middle Class Economic Security Index, in partnership with the Institute on Assets and Social Policy at Brandeis University. Draut has developed several policy proposals, including the Borrowers Security Act and the Contract for College, both of which have influenced new and proposed legislation. She has also been called to testify numerous times before Congress at hearings on credit card industry practices and student loan debt, and speaks around the country at public forums and on campuses about the economic challenges facing young people.

In her new role at Demos, Draut will continue to be involved with research and policy development on economic security, as well as across all program and issue areas of the organization.

"Tamara has been stunningly successful in building the Economic Opportunity Program at Demos," said Miles Rapoport. "She began our work, long before it was conventional wisdom, on the burden debt creates for working families, and broke new ground with 'Strapped' about the economic challenges facing the next generation. She will now bring her creative energy to leading all of Demos' program work, and help Demos apply its best energy to the new challenges and opportunities of this extraordinary new political era."

After an extensive search, Nancy K. Cauthen has been named Director of the Economic Opportunity Program, filling the position left by Draut. Cauthen brings nearly two decades of experience researching and analyzing public policies that prevent and reduce economic hardship. Prior to joining Demos, she spent 10 years at the National Center for Children in Poverty at Columbia University, most recently serving as Deputy Director of the institution.

Cauthen's latest research has focused on federal and state work support policies--such as earned income tax credits, child care assistance, and health insurance--and their impact on low- to middle-income families. She has written extensively about the connections between family economic status and children's chances for success, low-wage employment and work supports, measures of poverty and income, welfare reform, Social Security and children, and other policy issues that affect low- to moderate-income workers and their families. She speaks nationally on these topics and has testified before Congress and state legislatures.

A political and historical sociologist by training, Nancy is a recognized authority on the history and dynamics of American social welfare policy since the New Deal. Her published historical work focuses on Aid to Families with Dependent Children, Social Security, general assistance, and the Depression-era Works Projects Administration (WPA).

"Nancy brings a wealth of experience and deep policy expertise on some of the most important issues facing our nation and will help Demos grow and sharpen its work to grow and strengthen the middle class," Tamara Draut on after Cauthen's appointment.

For more information or to sign up for Demos updates, visit

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