The Century Foundation Welcomes Five New Fellows

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The Century Foundation is a progressve non-partisan think tank and these fellows have been recruited to build on the foundation's efforts to promote fresh ideas and politically compelling narratives that can define a new vision for U.S. public policy

The Century Foundation today announces the appointment of five fellows, all of whom are widely recognized as insightful generators of distinctive and provocative public policy ideas. Together they will advance TCF’s mission of providing bold, thought-provoking responses to unequal opportunity in America and the challenges to the U.S. of the diffusion of global power. The Century Foundation’s new fellows are:

  •     Daniel Alpert, the founding managing partner of Westwood Capital, LLC, who writes perceptively about the causes of the economic woes facing America and the rest of the world while recommending ambitious policy responses;
  •     Michael Cohen, a foreign policy analyst and author who writes about U.S. foreign policy, national security and foreign assistance, and whose critiques of U.S. military policy, and particularly America’s approach to the Afghanistan war, have proven to be prescient;
  •     Amy B. Dean, whose Century Foundation book, A New, New Deal: How Regional Activism Will Reshape the American Labor Movement, and other work highlights innovative alternatives to traditional unions that have arisen throughout the country and how these local institutions realize economic change;
  •     Suzanne Mettler, a Cornell University political scientist who analyzes the problems of policymaking through tax expenditures, sources of the public’s alienation from government through examination of health care reform, and the implications for democracy of higher education policy and stagnating access to college; and
  •     Mark Thoma, a University of Oregon economist whose widely read blog, Economist’s View, synthesizes current economic research for non-experts and highlights ideas for strengthening American social insurance and employment opportunities.

The new fellows have been recruited to build on The Century Foundation’s efforts to promote fresh ideas and politically compelling narratives that can define a new vision for U.S. public policy.

The Century Foundation is a progressive non-partisan think tank. Originally known as the Twentieth Century Fund, it was founded in 1919 and initially endowed by Edward Filene, a leading Republican businessman and champion of fair workplaces and employee ownership strategies, all with an eye to ensuring that economic opportunity is available to all.

“The Century Foundation aims to think expansively and with originality in ways that break the mold by bringing serious research to the examination of policy problems and their solution,” said Janice Nittoli, president of The Century Foundation. “We are so excited to provide this exceptional group of men and women with new platforms to call broader attention to their important ideas and insights.”

Greg Anrig, vice president of policy and programs, added, “Our new fellows share the rare ability to connect dots about the ways in which U.S. policy has gone astray and how it can be repaired in politically plausible ways over the course of the next decade. In each case, their insights are distinctive and not widely known by the general public, but their arguments are persuasive and have the potential to transform policy debates in the United States.”

More on the fellows:

Dan Alpert is the founding managing partner of Westwood Capital, LLC, and its affiliates. He has more than thirty years of international merchant banking and investment banking experience, including a wide variety of workout and bankruptcy related restructuring experience. He has researched and written extensively on the housing and credit bubbles and the resulting economic crisis, and is widely quoted in leading publications, including the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Reuters, the Associated Press, Bloomberg, Forbes, and Fortune. He is a frequent guest commentator on the principal business news networks, including Bloomberg, CNBC, and Fox Business News, and also appears on CNNI and the BBC. He also is a contributor to Prior to forming Westwood Capital in 1995, he was a senior banker and partner of Oppenheimer & Co., Inc. He holds a BA in public policy from the University of Pennsylvania.

Michael Cohen is regular writer and commentator on American politics and U.S. foreign policy. He is the author of Live from the Campaign Trail: The Greatest Presidential Campaign Speeches of the 20th Century and How They Shaped Modern America (Walker Books, 2008), as well as a columnist for Foreign Policy, where he writes a regular feature on politics and national security. He has previously been a senior fellow at the New America Foundation and the American Security Project. He served in the U.S. Department of State as chief speechwriter for U.S. Representative to the United Nations Bill Richardson and Undersecretary of State Stuart Eizenstat. He has worked at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, was chief speechwriter for Senator Chris Dodd (D-CT), and was a senior vice president at the strategic communications firm of Robinson, Lerer and Montgomery. He has also worked on political campaigns, both in the United States and overseas. He has been a frequent commentator on politics and international affairs, and his work has been featured in publications such as the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, and the Washington Post. His research has focused on the growing role and influence of non-state actors, reforming the foreign assistance bureaucracy (with a particular focus on democracy promotion), and improving aid coordination between private and public actors.

Amy B. Dean is coauthor, with David B. Reynolds, of A New, New Deal: How Regional Activism Will Reshape the American Labor Movement, a Century Foundation Book (Cornell University Press, 2009). In 2005, she founded Building Partnerships USA (BPUSA), a national organization dedicated to increasing civic and political participation to strengthen democracy and advance social and economic justice at the regional level. From 1993 to 2003, she served as president and CEO of the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council, the fifteenth largest regional labor federation in the country, representing more than ninety unions and 110,000 members, and was the youngest person and first woman to lead a major labor federation of the AFL-CIO. During that time, she established Working Partnerships USA (WPUSA), a nonprofit organization that connected economic research and community organizing. Under her leadership, WPUSA’s accomplishments included the nation’s first universal health care insurance for children regardless of immigration status, the enactment of San Jose’s first living wage ordinance governing public contracts, and the development of one of the nation’s first proposed community benefits ordinances, which tie the expenditure of public funds and public subsidies to measurable community benefits.

Suzanne Mettler is the Clinton Rossiter Professor of American Institutions at Cornell University, where she conducts research on politics and public policy. Her most recent book is The Submerged State: How Invisible Government Programs Undermine American Democracy (University of Chicago Press, 2011). Her earlier books include Dividing Citizens: Gender and Federalism in New Deal Public Policy (Cornell University Press, 1998), which was awarded the Kammerer Award of the American Political Science Association for the best book on U.S. national policy, and Soldiers to Citizens: The G.I. Bill and the Making of the Greatest Generation (Oxford University Press, 2005), which also won the Kammerer Award as well as the Greenstone Prize of the Politics and History section of the American Political Science Association. She is coeditor, with Joe Soss and Jacob Hacker, of Remaking America: Democracy and Public Policy in an Age of Inequality (Russell Sage Foundation, 2007), and coeditor with Lawrence R. Jacobs of a special issue of the Journal of Health Policy, Politics, and Law focused on “Public Opinion, Health Policy and American Politics.” She has published articles in several journals, including American Political Science Review, British Journal of Political Science, Perspectives on Politics, and Studies in American Political Development, and numerous book chapters in edited volumes.

Mark Thoma is an associate professor of economics at the University of Oregon and the author of the Economist’s View blog. He joined the University of Oregon faculty in 1987 and served as head of the economics department for five years. His research involves the effects of monetary policy on inflation, output, unemployment, interest rates, and other macroeconomic variables. He has conducted research in other areas, such as the relationship between the political party in power and macroeconomic outcomes. He received his PhD from Washington State University.

The new fellows, as well as Janice Nittoli and Greg Anrig, are available for interviews. Contact Christy Hicks at hicks(at)tcf(dot)org or (212) 452-7723. Learn more about The Century Foundation by visiting our web site at or connecting with us via Twitter or Facebook

The Century Foundation conducts public policy research and analyses of economic, social, and foreign policy issues. Topics include inequality, retirement security, health care reform, election reform, and international affairs. Century produces books, reports, and other publications, and also convenes task forces and working groups in order to inform national policy discussions, to promote fresh ideas and best practices, and to correct myths and misunderstandings about policy reforms. With offices in New York City and Washington, D.C., The Century Foundation is nonprofit and nonpartisan. It was founded in 1919 by Edward A. Filene.

Contact: Christy Hicks ~ Phone: (212) 452-7723 ~ Email: hicks(at)tcf(dot)org


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Christy Hicks