John Irons joined The Rockefeller Foundation in 2012. As Managing Director, Global Markets, he led much of the Foundation’s work in the United States, particularly initiatives on employment, and contributed more broadly to economic analysis of the Foundation’s work. His focus included leading the Foundation’s emerging work on Youth Employment in the US, the Sustainable Employment in a Green US Economy (SEGUE) Initiative, the Brookings–Rockefeller Project on State and Metropolitan Innovation, and other projects that focus on economic issues.
Prior to joining the Rockefeller Foundation, Dr. Irons was the Research Director at the Economic Policy Institute in Washington, D.C. Previously, he was the Director of Tax and Budget Policy at The Center for American Progress, and a Senior Economic Analyst and Staff Economist at OMB Watch, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting government accountability and citizen participation. Prior to coming to Washington, Dr. Irons was a tenure-track Assistant Professor of Economics at Amherst College. He has also worked at the Federal Reserve Board of Governors and briefly at the Brookings Institution.
Dr. Irons has authored numerous reports and articles on a range of economic topics including tax and budget policy, labor markets, and macroeconomic policy. His articles have appeared in several journals including the Journal of Monetary Economics, the Journal of Applied Econometrics, and the Review of Financial Economics. Dr. Irons is co‐editor of Testing Exogeneity, published by Oxford University Press. He has been quoted in numerous national and local print publications and has appeared on TV and radio programs, including CNN, CNBC, BBC, and Bloomberg. He has been a guest lecturer and has presented research at many colleges and universities including American University, Harvard University, Middlebury College, MIT, University of Missouri, University of Nebraska, and others.
Dr. 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 has won several awards for his economics websites, including top‐5 awards from The Economist and Forbes.
He has 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 was elected to the Board of Governors of the National Economists’ Club in Washington D.C.
Dr. Irons holds a B.A. with High Honors in economics from Swarthmore College, and a Ph.D. in economics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.