The Economic Policy Institute is pleased to announce that Dianne Stewart is joining the staff as the Director of EARN and Network Engagement. Stewart will work to nurture relationships between EPI and local, state, and national organizations and networks to maximize the impact on policy.
“Ms. Stewart will oversee EARN, the key state and local policy research infrastructure on economic policy and wage issues. She will also engage national networks and constituencies on initiatives to combat economic inequality and promote the wellbeing of workers and their families and build collaborations with EPI and its EARN partners,” said EPI President Lawrence Mishel.
Stewart’s priority will be to strengthen the Economic Analysis and Research Network (EARN), a network of 87 state, regional, and national multi-issue research, policy, and advocacy organizations. Working together with EARN’s members, donors, and allies across the country, she will help the network implement strategic joint initiatives and broaden coalitions on issues ranging from minimum wages, wage theft, misclassification, sick leave, scheduling, forced arbitration, immigration, childcare, retirement, manufacturing and other issues affecting low- and middle-income workers. Stewart was part of the initial founding group of EARN, which EPI has coordinated and supported since 1998.
“I am excited to join EARN partners in expanding and enhancing their efforts,” Stewart said. “EARN has an impressive track record, most recently as key players in efforts to raise the minimum wage across the country. These state leaders are well-positioned to press for changes that will shift the balance of economic benefits in America.”
Stewart’s career includes work in Washington and the states to create policies that help low-income families and to promote public solutions to income inequality. She founded the Texas-based Center for Public Policy Priorities, one of the original 10 State Priorities Partnership organizations and a member of both EARN and the Kids Count network. She led numerous coalitions and served as Governor Ann Richards’ appointee to the Texas Council on Workforce and Economic Competitiveness. She started Public Works, which worked with nonprofit and civic leaders to make the case for public initiatives in the states. Stewart also launched Indivisible, an effort to help the public understand the importance of coming together through government to address critical challenges in our communities, states and nation.
“It is an honor to be joining such a respected organization, which has worked for 30 years to ensure that economic policy discussions prioritize the needs of low- and middle-income workers,” said Stewart. “EPI is in a unique position to bolster movements across the United States for fair pay, economic mobility, racial equity, and retirement security.”