Commission on Reimagining Our Economy


The multiyear Commission on Reimagining Our Economy will study the relationship between economic conditions and social and institutional trust in the United States. Nearly one in seven American children live in poverty and, in a recent survey, 66 percent of Americans felt the nation’s economy needs major reforms, while just 6 percent feel it should remain unchanged. These conditions threaten lives and livelihoods, and they sow distrust in political, economic, and community institutions. In the face of a global pandemic and the fallout from the 2020 election, addressing these issues is especially urgent.

This Commission will build on Our Common Purpose: Reinventing American Democracy for the 21st Century, the final report of the American Academy’s Commission on the Practice of Democratic Citizenship. That report acknowledges that economic conditions influence public faith in government, political participation, and civic engagement. While Our Common Purpose does not offer recommendations specifically targeted at economic issues, the Commission on Reimagining Our Economy will face these issues head on.

This unique, multidisciplinary Commission includes scholars, business leaders, philanthropic leaders, community and religious leaders, labor leaders, and others. Through listening sessions, data collection, and a commitment to crosspartisan work, the Commission will develop bold, achievable recommendations that rethink the values that should drive the economy and advance practices and policies that would enable opportunity for all.

The new Commission represents a vital endeavor to reimagine the nation’s political economy, ease distrust, and help the American people face the challenges of the twenty-first century.



Commission Chairs
Commission Members

K. Daron Acemoglu

Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Elizabeth and James Killian Professor of Economics
Academy Member

Elizabeth S. Anderson

University of Michigan
John Rawls Collegiate Professor of Philosophy and Women's Studies, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor
Academy Member

Helene D. Gayle

Spelman College
President and Chief Executive Officer
Academy Member

Jacob S. Hacker

Yale University
Stanley B. Resor Professor of Political Science
Academy Member

Tom Hanks

Santa Monica, CA
Actor, Director, Screenwriter, and Producer
Academy Member

Mary Kay Henry

Service Employees International Union
Academy Member

Kelly Lytle Hernández

University of California, Los Angeles
Professor and Thomas E. Lifka Chair of History
Academy Member

Goodwin H. Liu

Supreme Court of California
Associate Justice
Academy Member

James M. Manyika

Chairman, McKinsey Global Institute; Senior Partner
Academy Member

Katherine S. Newman

University of Massachusetts, Amherst
Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, Student Affairs, and International Relations
Academy Member

Viet Thanh Nguyen

University of Southern California
Aerol Arnold Chair of English and Professor of English and American Studies and Ethnicity
Academy Member

Ruth Simmons

Prairie View A&M University
President Emerita
Academy Member

Matthew J. Slaughter

Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth
The Paul Danos Dean of the Tuck School of Business
Academy Member

Anna Deavere Smith

New York University Tisch School of the Arts
Actress; Playwright; Author; University Professor of Arts and Civic Dialogue
Academy Member

Jonathan D. Cohen

Joan and Irwin Jacobs Senior Program Officer for American Institutions, Society, and the Public Good

Victor Lopez

Program Associate for American Institutions, Society, and the Public Good
News & Updates

News & Updates