President & CEO

Areas of Expertise: Civic & Political Engagement, Pay Equity & Discrimination, Poverty and the Social Safety Net, Racial & Ethnic Inequality, The Status of Women and Girls

Dr. C. Nicole Mason is the president and chief executive officer  of the Institute for Women’s Policy Research (IWPR), a leading voice on pay equity, economic policies, and research impacting women. Stepping into this role in November 2019, 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.