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WASHINGTON, D.C. (November 13, 2019) – The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), a leading voice on pay equity, economic policies, and research impacting women, announced today its Board of Directors has unanimously chosen Dr. C. Nicole Mason as the Institute’s next president and chief executive officer. Stepping into this role, Dr. Mason will be the youngest person currently leading one of the major inside the Beltway think tanks in Washington, D.C., and one of few women of color. She succeeds noted economist and MacArthur Fellow Heidi Hartmann, the Institute’s founding CEO.
As one of the nation’s foremost intersectional researchers and scholars, Dr. C. Nicole Mason brings a fresh perspective and a wealth of experience to the Institute for Women’s Policy Research. For the past two decades, Dr. Mason has spearheaded research on issues relating to economic security, poverty, women’s issues, and entitlement reforms; policy formation and political participation among women, communities of color, and youth; and racial equity. Prior to IWPR, Dr. Mason was the executive director of the Women of Color Policy Network at New York University’s Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, the nation’s only research and policy center focused on women of color at a nationally ranked school of public administration. She is also an inaugural Ascend Fellow at the Aspen Institute in Washington, D.C.
Dr. Mason is the author of Born Bright: A Young Girl’s Journey from Nothing to Something in America (St. Martin’s Press) and has written hundreds of articles on community development, women, poverty, and economic security. Her writing and commentary have been featured in the New York Times, MSNBC, CNN, NBC, CBS, Real Clear Politics, the Nation, the Washington Post, Marie Claire Magazine, the Progressive, ESSENCE Magazine, Bustle, BIG THINK, the Miami Herald, Democracy Now, and numerous NPR affiliates, among others.
For over 30 years, the Institute for Women’s Policy Research has published groundbreaking research that has improved the lives of millions of women and families. Its Status of Women in the States reports have helped deliver millions of dollars in state and local funding across the country. IWPR also pioneered the issue of paid sick days by noting in its research that low-income single mothers often lost their jobs because of their own or a family member’s illness, leaving them in poverty. IWPR’s gender equity research also shows that if current trends continue, it will take 40 years—or until 2059—for women to finally reach pay parity. For women of color, the rate of change is even slower: Hispanic women will have to wait until 2224 and Black women will have to wait until 2130 for equal pay.
“I am delighted to welcome Dr. C. Nicole Mason as the Institute for Women’s Policy Research’s next president and CEO. Her body of work and commitment to the field speak for itself; we are fortunate to have her as we continue working to shift the very male-dominated policy conversations taking place in Washington today,” said Lorretta Johnson, chair, IWPR, Board of Directors.
“After an exhaustive search, I am delighted to pass the torch to Dr. C. Nicole Mason as the next president and CEO of IWPR,” said Heidi Hartmann, IWPR’s founder and retiring CEO. “For over 30 years, we have been focused on meeting the needs for women-centered, policy-oriented research – a mission made more critical than ever by the current political climate. Nicole has a strong record of leadership in gender equity issues and I can’t think of a more qualified and committed person to lead the next chapter of IWPR.”
“I am excited and honored to be leading IWPR, the nation’s leading and only think tank squarely focused on achieving economic equity and equality for women and families,” said Dr. C. Nicole Mason. “We are in a moment where women and our hard-fought wins on gender equity are under constant attack and threat. We cannot sit on the sidelines. IWPR has an important role to play in helping generate policies, solutions, and strategies grounded in the experiences of real women across the country.
The Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR) conducts and communicates research to inspire public dialogue, shape policy, and improve the lives and opportunities of women of diverse backgrounds, circumstances, and experiences. Named a top think tank in the United States, IWPR is a leading voice in women and working family research. Since its founding in 1987, IWPR has published more than a thousand reports, briefing papers, toolkits, and resources that have informed better policies and improved the lives of millions of women and families. Its Status of Women in the States reports have helped deliver millions of dollars in additional state and local funding across the country and have led to the creation of task forces on women in more than 15 states. IWPR also works in collaboration with the Program on Gender Analysis in Economics at American University.