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Strengthening the Web of Financial and Retirement Security for Today's Working Americans

Speakers include (in alphabetical order):


William J. Arnone is the Chair of the National Academy of Social Insurance Board of Directors, and an independent consultant specializing in retirement income policy and older voter political strategy. As a Partner with Ernst & Young LLP for 15 years up to 2009, he was responsible for the strategic positioning, design, management, marketing, and thought leadership of retirement and financial education and counseling in employer-sponsored programs. Prior to joining Ernst & Young as a Partner, he was Principal, Benefit Consultant, and National Director of Financial & Retirement Planning Services for Buck Consultants, Inc. Arnone has also served as Director of Senior Security Services for the New York City Department for the Aging, Consultant on Employment of Older Workers for the Florence V. Burden Foundation, Executive Director of Helping Aged Needing Direction in the Bronx, and staff associate with the New York City Board of Correction. He co-authored Ernst & Young’s Retirement Planning Guide (2001) and was associate editor of The Columbia Retirement Handbook (1994). Arnone is a Founding Board Member of the National Academy of Social Insurance and served on the Academy’s Board of Directors from 1986 to 1994 and as Board Chair since May 2013. He also co-chaired the Academy’s 2010 conference, “Beyond the Bad Economy.” Arnone holds a J.D. from New York University Law School, and was selected as one of the first Charles H. Revson Fellows on the Future of New York City by the Columbia University School of Business for 1979-1980.

G. Lawrence Atkins is currently a health policy consultant and President of the National Academy of Social Insurance. In 2013 he served as Staff Director of the federal Commission on Long-Term Care, which was created as part of budget legislation to find solutions to the difficulties families and individuals have in accessing and financing LTSS. Previously, Atkins was Executive Director of U.S. Public Policy for Merck & Co., where he directed the pharmaceutical company’s public policy and legislative strategy development, covering federal, state and local public policy issues. Prior to joining Merck, he held a similar position at Schering-Plough Corporation. Previously, Atkins was President of the consulting firm Health Policy Analysts. He has also worked for The Jefferson Group and the law firm of Winthrop, Stimson, Putnam and Roberts. During the 1980s, Atkins served as Republican Staff Director and professional staff member of the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging. He was also staff to Senator Heinz as Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Finance Committee's Subcommittee on Private Retirement Plans. In 1982, he was Senator Heinz’s Technical Advisor on the National Commission on Social Security Reform. Atkins was a member of the 1991 Advisory Council on Social Security, the Technical Advisory Panel on retirement savings for the 1995 Advisory Council on Social Security, and NASI’s 2010 study panel on Health Insurance Exchanges. A founding NASI member, he received his Ph.D. in social welfare policy from Brandeis University.

Bruce Bartlett is a historian, writer, and speaker on taxes, tax reform, and politics. Bartlett has spent many years in government, including service on the staffs of Representatives Ron Paul and Jack Kemp and Senator Roger Jepsen. He has been executive director of the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, senior policy analyst in the Reagan White House, and deputy assistant secretary for economic policy at the Treasury Department during the George H.W. Bush administration, in addition to positions at Cato and the Heritage Foundation. Bartlett is also a columnist for The Fiscal Times, Tax Notes, and The New York Times’ Economix blog. He was previously a columnist for Forbes magazine, and an economic commentator for The Wall Street Journal, Fortune, and other major publications. His writing often focuses on the intersection between politics and economics and seeks to inform politicians about economics, and economists about the current nature of politics. His latest book, The Benefit and the Burden (2013) is a history and review of issues related to tax reform. Previous books include Impostor: How George W. Bush Bankrupted America and Betrayed the Reagan Legacy and The New American Economy: The Failure of Reaganomics and a New Way Forward.

Andrew G. Biggs is a resident scholar at the American Enterprise Institute. Prior to joining AEI he was the principal deputy commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA), where he oversaw SSA’s policy research efforts and led the agency’s participation in the Social Security Trustees working group. In 2005 he worked on Social Security reform at the National Economic Council and in 2001 was on the staff of the President’s Commission to Strengthen Social Security. Biggs’ work at AEI focuses on Social Security reform, state and local government pensions, and comparisons of public and private sector compensation. He holds a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics and Political Science and Master’s degrees from Cambridge University and the University of London.

Andrea Louise Campbell (conference co-chair) is Professor of Political Science at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her interests include American politics, political behavior, public opinion, and political inequality, particularly their intersection with social welfare policy, health policy, and tax policy. Campbell is the author of How Policies Make Citizens: Senior Citizen Activism and the American Welfare State (2003), a book that explains the effects of Social Security on senior citizens’ civic and political involvement; The Delegated Welfare State: Medicare, Markets, and the Governance of Social Policy, with Kimberly J. Morgan (2011); and How Americans Think about Taxes (forthcoming). She is currently completing a book titled Trapped in the Safety Net, which uses her family’s experience to explore how American means-tested programs work on the ground. A prolific academic, Campbell is also the author of many other journal articles and book chapters that discuss the relationship between aging, social policies and political behavior. She holds an A.B. from Harvard University and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, and the Russell Sage Foundation. A member of the National Academy of Social Insurance since 2008, Campbell also served on the National Academy of Sciences Committee on the Fiscal Future of the United States. 

Carolyn W. Colvin is the Acting Commissioner of Social Security since February 2013. Prior to this designation, she served as the Deputy Commissioner. She also serves as a Trustee to the Social Security Board of Trustees. Throughout her career, Colvin has managed programs that help people with their healthcare and financial needs. She previously held key executive positions at Social Security headquarters, including Deputy Commissioner for Policy and External Affairs, Deputy Commissioner for Programs and Policy, and Deputy Commissioner for Operations. Prior to returning to SSA, Colvin was Director of the DC Department of Human Services; Director of the Montgomery County Department of Health and Human Services; CEO of AMERIGROUP Community Care in DC; and the Special Assistant to the Secretary of Maryland’s Department of Transportation. In addition, Colvin has served as the Secretary of Maryland’s Department of Human Resources. Colvin has received numerous awards and recognition for her managerial expertise and creativity, including Maryland’s Top 100 Women Award from the Daily Record (2005) and the Women of Achievement Award from Suburban Maryland Business and Professional Women (2005). A member of the National Academy of Social Insurance since 1999, Colvin earned her graduate and undergraduate degrees in business administration from Morgan State University. Additionally, she completed the Senior Executives in State and Local Government Program at Harvard University, the Maryland Leadership Program, and the Greater Baltimore Leadership Program.

Mary C. Daly is Senior Vice President and Associate Director of Research at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco. In addition, she is active in policy work and has published extensively on how Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income affect the behavior and economic well-being of working-age people with disabilities. She is the author of several books, including Disability Policy in the U.S.: What Went Wrong and a Strategy for Change, with Richard Burkhauser (2011). Daly served as a Visiting Scholar at the Congressional Budget office in 2011-2012 and as a Social Security Administration Technical Advisory Panel Member in 2006-2007. A member of the National Academy of Social Insurance since 2003, Daly received her Ph.D. in economics from Syracuse University.

Sheldon H. Danziger is the President of the Russell Sage Foundation. Previously he was the Henry J. Meyer Distinguished University Professor of Public Policy at the Gerald R. Ford School of Public Policy, Research Professor at the Population Studies Center, and Director of the National Poverty Center at the University of Michigan. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a John Kenneth Galbraith Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science and has been a John Simon Guggenheim Foundation Fellow and a visiting scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation and at the Rockefeller Foundation’s Bellagio Center. Between 1989 and 2013, Danziger directed the Research and Training Program on Poverty and Public Policy at the University of Michigan, a training and mentorship program for developing the careers of emerging scholars from underrepresented groups. From 1983 to 1988, he directed the Institute for Research on Poverty at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. His books include Legacies of the War on Poverty (co-edited with Martha Bailey, 2013), Changing Poverty, Changing Policies (co-edited with Maria Cancian, 2009), and America Unequal (co-authored with Peter Gottschalk, 1994). A member of the National Academy of Social Insurance since 1989, Danziger received his Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Ed Ferrigno is vice-president, Washington affairs, for the Plan Sponsor Council of America, where he represents members’ interests before the federal legislative and regulatory community. He has extensive experience in human resources management and government relations in both the corporate and association environment. He is responsible for PSCA’s successful efforts to enact the EGTRRA pension reform legislation in 2001 and to ward off harmful legislation introduced in 2002 in response to the Enron and WorldCom scandals. He played a key role in crafting the pension community’s responses to the mutual fund investigations and subsequent SEC proposals. He also led PSCA’s successful efforts to ensure that the Pension Protection Act of 2006 included regulatory and legislative provisions to remove barriers and provide incentives for automatic enrollment plans.  Ferrigno holds an MBA in finance from the George Washington University School of Business.

Jason Furman is the Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisers. He was confirmed by the U.S. Senate in August 2013. Prior to this role, Furman served as Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and the Principal Deputy Director of the National Economic Council. From 2007 to 2008 he was a Senior Fellow in Economic Studies and Director of the Hamilton Project at the Brookings Institute. Previously, he served as a Staff Economist at the Council of Economic Advisers, a Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy at the National Economic Council under President Clinton and Senior Adviser to the Chief Economist and Senior Vice President of the World Bank. Furman was the Economic Policy Director for Obama for America. Furman has also served as Visiting Scholar at NYU’s Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, a visiting lecturer at Yale and Columbia Universities, and a Senior Fellow at the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. He has conducted research in a wide range of areas, including fiscal policy, tax policy, health economics, Social Security, and monetary policy. In addition to numerous articles in scholarly journals and periodicals, Furman is the editor of several books on economic policy, including Path to Prosperity and Who Has the Cure. A member of the National Academy of Social Insurance since 2005, he earned his Ph.D. in economics and a M.A. in government from Harvard University and a M.Sc. in economics from the London School of Economics.

Tefere Gebre is Executive Vice President of the AFL-CIO. Prior to his election to that position in September 2013, Gebre was Executive Director of the Orange County Labor Federation, which represents more than 90 local unions with a total membership of more than 140,000 working men and women. During his tenure, the federation grew by 15,000 members and became a model of innovation, leadership and organization. Previously, he also has served as Southern California Political Director of the California Labor Federation; Director of Government Relations for Laborers Local 270; and Executive Director of Frontlash, the youth and college arm of the labor movement. He also was twice elected the president of the California Young Democrats and served as an aide to then-Speaker of the California State Assembly, Willie Brown, Jr. Originally a political refugee from Ethiopia, Gebre received a bachelor's degree in International Marketing from Cal Poly Pomona.

Stephen C. Goss is Chief Actuary at the Social Security Administration (SSA). He has been with SSA since 1973. Goss has been a staff participant representing the Office of the Actuary at the President's Commission on Pension Policy on the 1979, 1991, and 1995 Advisory Councils, the National Commission on Social Security, and the National Commission on Social Security Reform. He has presented papers at the Society of Actuaries, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, National Conference on Private Long-Term Care Insurance, the American Academy of Actuaries, the Pension Research Council, the Gerontological Society of America and the Atlantic Economic Society. He is a member of the Society of Actuaries and the American Academy of Actuaries. He also served on the NASI study panel on “Evaluating Issues in Privatizing Social Security” and on its “Uncharted Waters” Study Panel. He received NASI’s 2004 Robert M. Ball Award for outstanding achievements in social insurance. A member of the National Academy of Social Insurance since 1990, Goss received his M.S. in mathematics from the University of Virginia.

Elise Gould joined the Economic Policy Institute in 2003 and is the institute’s director of health policy research. Her research areas include employer-sponsored health insurance, inequality and health, poverty, economic mobility, and the employer tax exclusion. She is a co-author of The State of Working America, 12th Edition. In the past, she has authored a chapter on health in The State of Working America 2008/09; co-authored a book on health insurance coverage in retirement; published in venues such as The Chronicle of Higher Education, Challenge Magazine, and Tax Notes; and written for academic journals including Health Economics, Health Affairs, Journal of Aging and Social Policy, Risk Management & Insurance Review, Environmental Health Perspectives, and International Journal of Health Services. Gould has been quoted by a variety of news sources, including Bloomberg, NPR, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal, and her opinions have appeared on the op-ed pages of USA Today and The Detroit News. Additionally, she has testified before the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means, Maryland Senate Finance and House Economic Matters committees, the New York City Council, and the District of Columbia Council. Gould received her Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Mathew Greenwald is President and CEO of Mathew Greenwald & Associates, a premier public opinion and market research company. Greenwald is a leading financial and opinion research expert with more than 30 years of market research experience. He founded the firm after eight years as the Director of Social Research at the American Council of Life Insurers. Last year he partnered with the National Academy of Social Insurance on its groundbreaking public opinion study on Social Security, Strengthening Social Security: What Do Americans Want?, released in 2013. Greenwald has testified before Congress regarding retirement attitudes and has written many articles concerning the financial services industry, demographic changes, consumer attitudes and behavior, the Baby Boom and Baby Bust generations, and the values and lifestyles of the American public. He has also served as a Congressionally-appointed delegate to the 1998 and 2002 National Summits on Retirement Savings, and has taught sociology at the New College of Hofstra and Douglass College. Greenwald is an elected member of both the Market Research Council and the Insured Retirement Institute Hall of Fame. A NASI member since 2002, Greenwald received his Ph.D. in sociology from Rutgers University.

Lori L. Hansen (conference co-chair) is a consultant on social policy and Social Security, with a career dedicated to advocating for social insurance and antipoverty programs. Hansen was a member of the Social Security Advisory Board from 1994 to 2000. She also served as Policy Director for Social Security Works, a nonprofit dedicated to strengthening Social Security. She served as a member of the Retirement Security Policy Committee for the Obama '08 campaign and as Advisor to the Obama Transition Team for Social Security. Hansen was a consulting Policy Analyst for the National Academy of Social Insurance and a Policy and Legislative Analyst for the Study Group on Social Security. Previously, she served as technical assistant to Robert M. Ball, former Social Security Commissioner, during his tenure as a member of the 1983 National Commission on Social Security Reform. Hansen’s professional experiences also include tenures at the Legal Services Corporation; as professional staff on the Senate Committee on Labor and Human Resources Subcommittee on Employment, Poverty and Migratory Labor and the Senate Select Committee on Nutrition and Human Needs; and as legislative assistant to Senator Gaylord Nelson, then Chairman of the Senate Finance Subcommittee on Social Security. A founding member of the National Academy of Social Insurance, she received her M.S.W. in social policy and administration from the University of Michigan.

Jake Jones (conference co-chair) is Executive Director of the Daimler External Affairs & Public Policy operations for North America. In this position, he leads a team of government affairs professionals representing the interests of Mercedes-Benz, Daimler Trucks, and Financial Services in Mexico, Canada, and the United States. Jones currently serves on the Executive Committees for the Alliance of Automobile Manufacturers, Organization of International Investment, Federal City Council, and Washington Performing Arts Society, as well as on the Board of the German-American Business Council. Prior to becoming head of the Daimler office, Jones was the Director of Congressional Affairs for DaimlerChrysler and responsible for coordinating overall legislative strategy, directly leading coverage on tax and benefit-related issues, and managing the Federal Political Action Committee. Previously, he was the lead trade and immigration legislative representative for the AFL-CIO.  His professional experiences also include tenures as Senior Legislative Assistant to former Senator Carol Moseley-Braun, senior legislative analyst at the CMS Office of Legislation and Policy, and budget analyst at the Department of Health and Human Services. A member of the National Academy of Social Insurance since 2003, Jones received his M.S. in public policy and management from Carnegie-Mellon University.

Kilolo Kijakazi is a Program Officer in the Financial Assets Unit of the Ford Foundation, where her work focuses on building economic security for working families. Her grantmaking promotes public support for the creation of universal, progressive savings accounts from birth through retirement, and Social Security reform that improves benefits for low-wage workers. Before joining the Ford Foundation in 2003, Kijakazi was a senior policy analyst for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, where she specialized in Social Security. She wrote and presented research and policy papers, testified before Congress, and served as a panelist at the White House Conference on Social Security during the Clinton administration. She previously worked as a program analyst for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food and Nutrition Service and as a policy analyst at the National Urban League, covering issues such as welfare reform, employment and education. A member of the National Academy of Social Insurance since 1999, she served on its “Uncharted Waters” study panel. Kijakazi received a Ph.D. in public policy from George Washington University, and her dissertation was published as the book African-American Economic Development and Small Business Ownership (1997). She also holds an M.S.W. with a specialty in community development from Howard University, and a B.A. from Binghamton University.

Renée Landers is Professor of Law and Faculty Director of the Health and Biomedical Law Concentration at Suffolk University Law School. From 2003-2004, she served as president of the Boston Bar Association. She was the first woman of color and the first law professor to serve in that position. She currently teaches health law, constitutional law and administrative law. Before joining the Suffolk University Law School faculty in 2002, Landers served as counsel in the health law group at the Boston law firm of Ropes & Gray for five years. She previously served as deputy general counsel for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and Deputy Assistant Attorney General in the Office of Policy Development at the U.S. Department of Justice. Before entering government service, Landers taught at Boston College Law School. Landers serves as Secretary of the Board of Directors of the National Academy of Social Insurance, was a member of NASI’s study panel on “Strengthening Medicare’s Role in Reducing Racial and Ethnic Health Disparities,” and co-chaired the 21st NASI conference on “Social Insurance, Fiscal Responsibility, and Economic Growth.” A NASI member since 2008, Landers received her J.D. from Boston College Law School.

Michael Lind is Policy Director of the Economic Growth Program at the New America Foundation, which he co-founded in 1999. He is a columnist for Salon and writes frequently for The New York Times and The Financial Times. Lind is the author of numerous books of history, political journalism, fiction, poetry and children’s literature; his most recent book is Land of Promise: An Economic History of the United States (2012). A graduate of the University of Texas and Yale, Lind has taught at Harvard and Johns Hopkins and has been an editor or staff writer for The New Yorker, Harper’s, The New Republic and The National Interest.  Previous books include What Lincoln Believed (2004), Hamilton’s Republic (1997), and The Next American Nation (1995).

Annie Lowrey is an economic policy reporter in the Washington bureau of The New York Times. She was formerly Slate’s Moneybox columnist. She was also a staff writer for the Washington Independent and served on the editorial staffs of Foreign Policy and The New Yorker. Lowrey has appeared on C-SPAN, the PBS Newshour, The Rachel Maddow Show, and Morning Joe. She is a graduate of Harvard University.

Lisa Mensah is the Founder and Executive Director of the Initiative on Financial Security at the Aspen Institute. She also serves on NASI’s Board of Directors, and was Chair of the Board from 2010 to 2013. She began her career in commercial banking at Citibank prior to working 13 years with the Ford Foundation. Serving as Deputy Director of Economic Development for the organization, Mensah led the Foundation’s work in microfinance and women’s economic development. She became the leading national funder of individual development accounts (IDAs) – an innovative savings account structured with matching incentives and personal financial training used to finance homeownership, entrepreneurship and education. A member of the National Academy of Social Insurance since 2005, Mensah also served on its “Uncharted Waters” study panel. She holds an M.A. from the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies of The Johns Hopkins University and a B.A. from Harvard University.

Ruth Milkman is a Professor of Sociology at the CUNY Graduate Center and at the Joseph S. Murphy Institute for Worker Education and Labor Studies, where she also serves as Academic Director. Milkman is a sociologist of labor and labor movements who has written on a variety of topics involving work and organized labor in the United States, past and present. Her most recent book is Unfinished Business: Paid Family Leave in California and the Future of U.S. Work-Family Policy, with Eileen Appelbaum (2013). She has also written extensively about low-wage immigrant workers in the United States, analyzing their employment conditions as well as the dynamics of immigrant labor organizing. She helped lead a multicity team that produced a widely-publicized study documenting the prevalence of wage theft and violations of other workplace laws in Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York, and coauthored a study of the Occupy Wall Street movement. In 2012-13 she was the Matina S. Horner Visiting Professor at Harvard University’s Radcliffe Institute. Milkman taught sociology for more than twenty years at the University of California, Los Angeles, and directed the Institute for Research on Labor and Employment there from 2001 to 2008. She holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley.

Peter Orszag is an American economist and Vice Chairman of Corporate and Investment Banking, Chairman of the Public Sector Group, and Chairman of the Financial Strategy and Solutions Group at Citigroup, Inc. He is also a columnist at Bloomberg View, a Distinguished Scholar at New York University School of Law, and an adjunct senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Before joining Citigroup, he was a Distinguished Visiting Fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations and a contributing columnist for The New York Times Op-Ed page. Prior to that, he was Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Barack Obama and, previously, Director of the Congressional Budget Office. Orszag was a senior fellow and Deputy Director of Economic Studies at the Brookings Institution, where he directed The Hamilton Project and the Retirement Security Project. He served during the Clinton administration as Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy and as Senior Economist and Senior Adviser on the Council of Economic Advisers. A NASI member since 1999, Orszag holds a Ph.D. in economics from the London School of Economics.

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor at the School of Social Service Administration (SSA) at the University of Chicago. He is also Co-Director of The University of Chicago Crime Lab and an Executive Committee member of Chicago’s Center for Health Administration Studies. He has published widely at the interface between poverty policy and public health. His recent research concerns HIV and hepatitis prevention efforts for injection drug users, drug abuse and dependence among welfare recipients and pregnant women, infant mortality prevention, and child health. His research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, American Journal of Public Health, Health Services Research, Pediatrics, and Social Service Review, and his writings have appeared in publications including The Washington Post, The Nation, and The New York Times. A 2012-14 Robert Wood Johnson Investigator in Health Policy Research, Pollack has been appointed to three committees of the National Academy of Sciences. Before coming to SSA, Pollack was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholar in Health Policy Research at Yale University and taught Health Management and Policy at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. He holds master’s and doctorate degrees in Public Policy from the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and an undergraduate degree from Princeton University.

Ai-jen Poo, Director of the National Domestic Workers Alliance (NDWA) and Co-director of the Caring Across Generations campaign, has been organizing immigrant women workers since 1996. In 2000 she co-founded Domestic Workers United (DWU), the New York organization that spearheaded the successful passage of the state’s historic Domestic Workers Bill of Rights in 2010. In 2007, DWU helped organize the first national domestic workers convening, out of which formed the NDWA. Poo serves on the Board of Directors of MomsRising, National Jobs with Justice, Working America, the National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy, and the National Council on Aging. Among her numerous accolades are the Ms. Foundation Woman of Vision Award, the Independent Sector American Express NGen Leadership Award, the Ford Foundation’s Leadership for a Changing World Award, Newsweek’s 150 Fearless Women list, and TIME’s list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World.

Virginia P. Reno is Vice President for Income Security Policy at the National Academy of Social Insurance, where she directs the Academy’s work on Social Security, disability insurance, workers’ compensation, unemployment compensation, and related issues. She directed the Academy’s landmark study, Uncharted Waters: Paying Benefits from Individual Accounts in Federal Retirement Policy. That study, led by bipartisan co-chairs, was highly acclaimed by individuals on all sides of the Social Security debate.  Reno also directed Evaluating Issues in Privatizing Social Security and the Academy’s study of the Social Security disability programs and ways to promote rehabilitation and employment of persons with disabilities. Before coming to NASI, Reno held research and policy positions at the Social Security Administration (SSA), where she was staff director of the Policy Council that advised the Commissioner of Social Security on legislative, regulatory and administrative issues. Before that, she served in SSA’s office of research and statistics, where she directed the program analysis staff.  Reno is a founding member of NASI, and was recognized as the distinguished honoree for Social Security at NASI’s 25th anniversary celebration in 2011. She served in the U.S. Peace Corps in West Africa and received her B.A. from the Honors College of the University of Oregon.

Matthew S. Rutledge is a research economist at the Center for Retirement Research at Boston College. He conducts research on the retirement decision, Social Security claiming behavior, disability insurance application, public program receipt, unemployment insurance, health insurance coverage, pension coverage, income volatility, and the effect of the macroeconomy on older workers.  Before joining the Center, he earned a doctorate in economics from the University of Michigan in the fields of health economics, labor economics, and public finance. He has also worked for the Economic Research Initiative on the Uninsured and the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston.

Heidi Shierholz is an Economist at the Economic Policy Institute, where she has worked since 2007. Her areas of research include trends in employment, unemployment, and compensation, income and wealth inequality, the low-wage labor market, the minimum wage, and the gender wage gap. Shierholz is a frequent contributor to broadcast and radio news outlets, including ABC, CBS, CNN and NPR, and is regularly quoted in print and online media outlets, including The New York Times and The Washington Post. She has repeatedly been called to testify in Congress on labor market issues. She is also a member of the board of directors of the DC Employment Justice Center. She previously worked as an Assistant Professor of Economics at the University of Toronto. Shierholz holds a Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Michigan.

Karen Smith is a Senior Research Associate at the Urban Institute. Her recent work includes estimating the income and asset accumulation patterns of the adult population, analyzing the retirement decision, evaluating the effect of disability on earnings and mortality, and using statistical matching to impute earnings, taxes, and spouse characteristics. Her main area of expertise is the design and implementation of micro-simulation models in a social policy environment, including for Social Security, pensions, taxation, wealth and savings, labor-supply, charitable giving, health expenditure, student aid, and welfare reform. Smith has played a lead role in the development of the Social Security Administration's Modeling Income in the Near Term (MINT) micro-simulation model, the Urban Institute's Dynamic Simulation of Income (DYNASIM) micro-simulation model, and the Social Security Administration's Policy Simulation Model (POLISIM). Prior to her work at the Urban Institute, she was a manager in the Health Policy Economics Group of Price Waterhouse LLP and a principal analyst at the Congressional Budget Office. A member of the National Academy of Social Insurance since 2006, Smith received her bachelor's degree in Computer Science and Economics from the University of Michigan.

Katherine Swartz is Professor of Health Policy and Economics in the Department of Health Policy and Management of the Harvard School of Public Health, where she has been on the faculty since 1992. Swartz’s current research interests focus on implementation issues related to the Affordable Care Act; aging issues; and reasons for and ways to control episodes of care that involve extremely-high expenditures. Since 2005, she has been the Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Scholars in Health Policy Research Program at Harvard University. Previously, she has been a Visiting Scholar at the Russell Sage Foundation; Senior Research Associate at the Urban Institute; and Assistant Professor in the Department of Economics at the University of Maryland. She is the author of Reinsuring Health: Why More Middle-Class People Are Uninsured and What Government Can Do. Swartz was President of the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management in 2009, and in 1991 she received the Association’s David Kershaw Award for research done before the age of 40 that has had a significant impact on public policy. A member of the National Academy of Social Insurance since 1999, Swartz was also elected to the Institute of Medicine in 2007. She received her Ph.D. in economics from the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

Rebecca Vallas is the Deputy Director of Government Affairs at the National Organization of Social Security Claimants’ Representatives (NOSSCR). She has focused her legal practice and public policy advocacy on the Social Security disability and retirement programs. She was previously awarded a Skadden Fellowship and a Borchard Fellowship in Law and Aging at Community Legal Services in Philadelphia, where she represented hundreds of low-income individuals with disabilities and older Americans with Social Security- and SSI- related matters. She is a co-chair of both the Consortium for Citizens with Disabilities (CCD) Social Security Task Force and the SSI Coalition for Children and Families. She has delivered trainings at the local, state, and national level on Social Security and SSI, is the author of several briefs and articles on Social Security and SSI, has testified before Congress, and has spoken on C-SPAN and other TV and radio programs. She was twice named one of Forbes Magazine’s “30 Under 30” for Law and Social Policy, in 2011 and 2013. A NASI member since 2012, Vallas received her Juris Doctor degree from the University of Virginia School of Law, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif, and her B.A. in Psychology from Emory University.