Today, David Cooper was promoted to director of EPI’s Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN), a national network of nearly 60 state- and local-level policy research and advocacy organizations. He has been a member of the EARN team since 2011, most recently as deputy director.
As EARN’s director, Cooper will succeed Naomi Walker, who was promoted to EPI vice president alongside new EPI president Heidi Shierholz.
In his time with EARN, Cooper has overseen a vast expansion in the program’s research and analytical capacities—building up the data, research, and policy resources available to support EARN groups’ worker, racial, and gender justice work. With support from the EARN team at EPI, EARN groups have shaped numerous state and local policy debates, providing timely and credible analyses that have helped secure critical pro-worker, equity-promoting policy reforms, such as higher minimum wages, expanded access to overtime, paid leave benefits, fair scheduling protections, and stronger collective bargaining rights.
As part of EPI’s research team, Cooper’s work on the minimum wage, wage theft, social insurance, and state labor markets has been used by policymakers in city halls and statehouses across the country, as well as in Congress and the White House. His analyses on the impact of minimum wage laws have been instrumental in dozens of state and local minimum wage debates since 2011.
“I am hugely excited to lead the EARN team and to continue to expand the network’s reach and deepen its impact,” Cooper said. “Some of the most innovative and consequential policymaking happens at the state and local level, and we have to make sure that policymakers at every level of government are doing what’s best for working people, and prioritizing anti-racist, equity-promoting policies. EARN’s top-notch research and strong partnerships with grassroots allies are critical to achieving that goal.”
Cooper will assume the EARN director position on October 18, 2021.