Kilolo Kijakazi is an Institute Fellow at the Urban Institute, where she works with staff to develop collaborative partnerships with organizations and individuals who represent those most affected by the economic and social issues that Urban addresses. She also expands and strengthens Urban’s research agenda, communicates the findings of Urban’s research, and recruits and retains research staff. Along with David Colby and Maya MacGuineas, Kijakazi is co-chairing the Academy’s 2016 annual policy research conference.

Prior to her appointment at Urban, Kijakazi was a program officer in the Financial Assets Unit of the Economic Opportunity and Assets Program at The Ford Foundation, where she focused on building economic security for working families and incorporating the knowledge of people of color into all aspects of the work, including research, policy, and practice. Before that, she held a position as senior policy analyst for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, where she specialized in Social Security, participated in a White House conference on Social Security, and testified before Congress. She also served as a program analyst for the US Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, where she designed and monitored evaluations of the Food Stamp Program.

“Kilolo has an amazing ability to find and build connections among individuals and institutions that should be working together on critical public policy issues and policy discussions are much better for that inclusionary approach,” says Margaret Simms, is an Institute Fellow in the Center on Labor, Human Services, and Population at the Urban Institute.

Kijakazi's publications include the book African-American Economic Development and Small Business Ownership and several papers such as, African Americans, Hispanic Americans and Social Security: The Shortcomings of the Heritage Foundation Reports, as well as a chapter in each of two Academy’s  conference proceedings, Strengthening Community: Social Insurance in a Diverse America and The Future of Social Insurance: Incremental Action of Fundamental Reform?

She serves on the boards of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation and the Center for Global Policy Solutions and is a member of the Bipartisan Commission on Retirement Security and Personal Savings. Kijakazi has also served on the Academy’s Uncharted Waters Study Panel and currently serves on its Board of Directors.

Kijakazi holds a BA from the State University of New York at Binghamton, an MSW from Howard University, and a Ph.D. in public policy from The George Washington University. She has been a member of the Academy since 1999. On her free time, she enjoys skiing and sailing. 

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