Today, labor economist Valerie Wilson took the helm of the National Economic Association (NEA), which was founded in 1969 to increase the representation of Black economists and other people of color within the profession. She takes on a one-year term as president of the NEA, which also produces and distributes knowledge of economic issues to promote economic growth among native and immigrant African Americans, Latinos, and other people of color.
Wilson will remain as director of the Economic Policy Institute’s Program on Race, Ethnicity, and the Economy (PREE), a nationally recognized source for expert reports and policy analyses on the economic condition of America’s people of color. Prior to joining EPI in 2014, Wilson was vice president of research at the National Urban League Washington Bureau.
She has written extensively on various issues impacting economic inequality in the United States—including employment and training, income, wage and wealth disparities, access to higher education, and social insurance—and has appeared regularly in print, television, and radio media.
“It is an honor to be named the next president of the National Economic Association,” said Wilson. “For decades, the NEA has focused on diversifying and strengthening economics research to bring issues facing Black and other underrepresented communities to the forefront. I am proud to carry on and lead this tradition of distinguished scholarship and research.”
In her role as president, Wilson will promote NEA’s mission through public engagement of the NEA and its more than 2,000 members on major policy issues pertinent to the economic well-being of Black Americans and other communities of color. She will also work with the director of NEA’s newly launched Black Economic Research Center for the 21st Century, James Stewart, to amplify Black economic thought and activism through the center’s work.
As president, Wilson succeeds economist Nina Banks, who also serves on EPI’s Board of Directors.