Commission on Reimagining Our Economy


Economic uncertainty is a disruptive force in American life. Too many families are unable to achieve the life they want despite their best efforts, too many communities have not benefited fully from national economic growth, and too many Americans believe the economy does not work for people like them. In a 2021 Pew Research Center survey, 66 percent felt that the nation’s economy needs major reforms, while just 6 percent felt it should remain unchanged. Coupled with the current challenges facing American democracy, these trends contribute to the growing distrust of political and economic institutions. While it often seems that the nation cannot agree on much, there is widespread agreement that changes are needed to bolster opportunity and to allow more Americans to share in the nation’s prosperity.

The specific policies needed to reform the economy, and the values that should inform those policies, are subject to intense disagreement. With this challenge in mind, the Academy launched the Commission on Reimagining Our Economy (CORE) in October 2021. The goal of the Commission is to rethink the principles, metrics, narratives, and policies that shape the nation’s political economy. While policymakers and journalists often track how the economy is doing, the Commission seeks to direct a focus onto how Americans are doing, elevating the human stakes of our economic and political systems.

The interdisciplinary and cross-partisan Commission comprises scholars, journalists, artists, and leaders from the faith, labor, business, and philanthropic communities. A premise of the Commission’s work is that questions of political economy are inextricable from conversations about democracy. Individual well-being is not simply a matter of dollars and cents. Other factors need to be accounted for, particularly the degree to which people feel that their voice is valued. The widespread belief that the economy does not give everyone a fair chance threatens the nation’s social fabric and its constitutional democracy.

To that end, the CORE project will build on Our Common Purpose: Reinventing American Democracy for the 21st Century. 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.

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, mobility, and sufficiency for all.



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 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 California System
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

Matthew J. Slaughter

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

Anna Deavere Smith

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