People

John Irons

Digital Fellow

John Irons is a Future of Work fellow with the Center on Education and Skills at New America (CESNA).

He is also a Research Affiliate and Digital Fellow at the MIT Initiative on the Digital Economy at the Sloan School of Management, and is a Visiting Scholar at Stanford University as a Research Affiliate at the Center for Advanced Study in the Behavioral Sciences. He is also affiliated with Schwartz Center for Economic Policy Analysis at The New School. His current research interests are broad and include how technology is shaping market systems and work. He has authored numerous reports and articles on a range of economic topics including tax and budget policy, labor markets, and macroeconomic policy; and has appeared in a variety of media outlets.

Prior to his current role, he was most recently director of the Inclusive Economies and Future of Work programs at the Ford Foundation, creating and leading grant-making teams supporting U.S. and global efforts to create economic opportunities and ensure that prosperity is widely shared. Before joining Ford, Irons was managing director of Global Markets at the Rockefeller Foundation, leading initiatives in the U.S. and globally with a focus on employment. Prior to that, Irons worked at several leading D.C.-based think tanks, and as a tenure track assistant professor of economics at Amherst College.

Irons was awarded a National Science Foundation graduate fellowship, as well as a graduate fellowship from the Harvard/MIT Research Training Group in Positive Political Economy. He won several awards for his economics websites, including top‐5 awards from The Economist and Forbes. He served on the Committee on Electronic Publishing of the American Economic Association, and has served on the board of nonprofit institutions, including the Coalition on Human Needs and the National Growth and Innovation Network, and was elected to the Board of Governors of the National Economists Club in Washington D.C. Irons holds a BA with high honors in economics from Swarthmore College, and a PhD in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

He lives near Princeton, New Jersey and enjoys baking artisan bread, cycling, and spending time with his wife and two daughters.

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