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#2021APPAM Spotlight: Urban Institute


The #2021APPAM Fall Research Conference will feature some fantastic sponsors from across the policy research spectrum. Today we're shining a spotlight on Urban Institute.


What is the mission of your organization?

To open minds, shape decisions, and offer solutions through economic and social policy research.

What are your strongest areas of work?

  • Cities, and Neighborhoods, and Metros
  • Crime, Justice, and Safety
  • Data Science and Technology
  • Economic Mobility and Inequality
  • Education
  • Financial Well-Being and Wealth
  • Health Care
  • Housing
  • Social Safety Net
  • Structural Racism
  • Tax Policy

In the past year, what has been the most influential work from your researchers?

As the country grappled with its legacy of racial injustice and the COVID-19 pandemic and recovery from it, Urban has delivered data tools and evidence-based insights that provide clarity, educated audiences on the effects of structural racism, and informed the national dialogue about people’s job security, housing stability, health and child care, financial well-being, and safety.

Our products included:
• an Urban-designed tool to track job losses due to the pandemic;
• evidence-informed insights about a potential rise in evictions and solutions to prevent it;
• a spatial equity tool that gives local leaders an instant readout of racial inequities in their communities; and
• data on how many people would have landed in poverty without pandemic-relief benefits, and what it would mean for US poverty rates if some of these benefits were made permanent.

If you are hiring, what makes your organization a great place to work?

Our work is an unqualified reflection of the great people we hire. Urban derives its strength from creativity, intellectual contribution and growth, and our differences in viewpoint, background, and experience. Accordingly, we welcome and celebrate diversity in all its forms Urban is proudly multidisciplinary, multicultural, multiracial, academic and applied, and highly schooled and practically experienced.

How many early career professionals do you employ?

Urban currently employs approximately 140 early career professionals working in both our research & policy centers as well as part of our operations staff.

What is your employee breakdown in terms of highest degree achieved (Undergraduate, Masters, Doctorate)?

  • 216-Undegraduate,
  • 226Masters
  • 112 Doctorates (including MD/JD)

Is there any other information that you'd like us to highlight in your Spotlight?

At Urban you can expect to be encouraged and supported to fulfill your potential through meaningful work that matters;

  • Work with great colleagues who are smart, mission-driven, and collaborative;
  • Be respected for who you are;
  • Be recognized and rewarded on ability and merit for your contributions; and
  • Enjoy a welcoming & intentionally inclusive workplace free from harassment, discrimination, and intolerance.

What is an interesting, unique, or fun fact about your organization?

Our organization was founded by LBJ.
We recently started an Equity Scholars program in which scholars will deepen their research on race and equity and contribute to Urban’s commitment to address structural racism and discrimination and increase racial justice and equity across all the domains in which Urban works.

We also recently celebrated our vice president and chief methodologist was nominated to be the next director of the US Census.

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