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#2022APPAM Spotlight: Urban Institute


The #2022APPAM 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?

Our research, data, and analysis related to: 

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

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

In 2021, Urban elevated our capacity as the reference standard for informed decisions that affect people’s lives and their communities. Our work informed how corporations and government at all levels can advance racial equity; strengthened equitable local, state, and private-sector decision-making; and elevated the national policy conversation around a country rebuilding from public health and economic crises.

Our products have included: 

  • evidence-informed insights on how federal agencies could advance racial equity and support for underserved communities;  
  • a spatial equity tool that gives local leaders an instant readout of racial inequities in their communities;  
  • an index and mapping tool that identifies neighborhoods where renters most need emergency assistance to stay in their homes; and 
  • the only extensive assessment of how changes to cash-assistance programs during the COVID-19 pandemic have affected poverty rates.

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 150 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)?

  • 190 undergraduate  
  • 215 masters  
  • 117 doctorates (including MD/JD)

Where do you see your organization in 50 years?

Urban will continue to deliver facts that inspire solutions and to be a trusted source for changemakers who seek to strengthen decision-making, create inclusive economic growth, and improve the well-being of families and communities.

Is there any other information that you'd like 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 and intentionally inclusive workplace free from harassment, discrimination, and intolerance.
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