Sarah Rosen Wartell, the co-founder and executive vice president at Center for American Progress has been named president of the Urban Institute, a long-standing Washington think tank that focuses on social policy issues.
Joel Fleishman, Urban Institute’s chairman, said in a statement that Wartell is “is widely respected for her strategic leadership, pace-setting innovations, and policy expertise.”
The Urban Institute, founded in 1968, works in areas such as health care costs and access, taxes and budgets, immigration, family poverty, neighborhood disinvestment and unemployment and economic recovery.
The organization has been led since 200 by Robert D. Reischauer, the former director of the Congressional Budget Office from 1989-1996.
“Passing the torch after 12 years to the next president has been made immeasurably easier by the board’s choice,” Reischauer said in a statement.
Wartell described the Urban Institute as a “treasure trove” of expertise and research on a range of policy challenges, including housing, health and taxes. “I want to help ensure that policymakers of all stripes can use these resources to improve outcomes and the public’s return on investment from shrinking funds,” she said.
Wartell’s move is the latest in a shake-up among top leadership at the Center for American Progress, Washington’s largest progressive think tank. In October, John Podesta stepped down as founding president. Neera Tanden, CAP’s chief operating officer, replaced Podesta as president. Since then, Jennifer Palmieri, senior vice president for communications, left for the White House to become deputy communications director.
As executive vice president, Wartell oversaw CAP’s policy teams and fellows, who work on economic, domestic, energy, and national security issues. Her work has centered around the U.S. economy and housing markets.
Wartell served as President Clinton’s deputy assistant for economic policy and the deputy director of his National Economic Council.
She also worked in multiple federal agencies in the 1990s, including as deputy assistant secretary at the Federal Housing Administration in the Department of Housing and Urban Development. Wartell also practiced law at the Washington firm of Arnold & Porter.
Wartell will begin her post in February.