Lawrence Mishel will step down as president of the Economic Policy Institute at the end of 2017, EPI announced today. A search committee led by members of EPI’s Board of Directors will convene to find a new president to build on Mishel’s legacy. Mishel will remain at EPI as a senior economist.
Mishel first joined EPI in 1987 as research director, and assumed the role of president in 2002. In the three decades he has been with the organization, Mishel helped build EPI into the nation’s premier research organization focused on the labor market, inequality, and living standards for low- and middle-income families. He was a coauthor on every edition of EPI’s flagship publication, the State of Working America, a cornerstone of EPI research that was published every other year from 1988 to 2012.
“As research director from EPI’s founding in 1987 until 2002, Larry shaped EPI’s research agenda, sought and nurtured a stellar research team, and set impeccably high standards for the institute. When he became president in 2002, he expanded EPI’s scope and reach, further deepening its reputation in policy, academic, political, and media circles as a respected voice for working people. Throughout, he never wavered in his steadfast belief in the value of unions—both to workers and to a healthy, vibrant, sustainable economy,” said Richard Trumka, Chair of EPI’s Board of Directors and President of the AFL-CIO. “On behalf of the EPI Board of Directors, I’d like to thank Larry for his decades of work to build EPI into the powerhouse that it has become, which has laid a solid foundation for EPI’s future growth and potential.”
Mishel has spent his career elevating issues such as income inequality, wage stagnation, skyrocketing CEO pay, and the important role that labor unions and worker bargaining power plays in rising standards of living. As EPI president, he helped strengthen EPI’s focus on policy recommendations, spearheading the Agenda for Shared Prosperity, which shaped the political debate in the run-up to the 2008 presidential election. He also helped create the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN) in the late 1990’s, a network of more than sixty organizations that address economic policy issues at the state and local level.