The Washington PostDemocracy Dies in Darkness

The Future Reset: Inclusive Capitalism with Sara Nelson, Andre Perry & Paul Romer


Despite overall progress in eradicating extreme poverty worldwide, wealth inequality is rising. In industrial nations, the middle class is shrinking – working families are being left behind due to the knock-on effects of globalization, rapid technological innovation and competitive trade policy. Once mechanisms for maintaining economic inclusivity, tax policy and labor laws have been largely ineffective in promoting even economic growth and supporting wage-earning Americans.

As the U.S. faces an unprecedented economic crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, there is an opportunity to rebuild an economy that promotes inclusive, equitable growth and financial security for all. On Tuesday, Dec. 1 at 11:00 a.m. ET, The Washington Post will bring together world-renowned scholars and rising stars on the frontlines of inclusive capitalism including Paul Romer, 2018 winner of the Nobel Prize in economics, and Sara Nelson, international president of the Association of Flight Attendants, who has been called “the most powerful labor leader in the country.”


Brookings fellow Andre Perry on combating racism and fighting for inclusive capitalism (Video: The Washington Post)
Renowned economist Paul Romer on institutions successfully combating racism (Video: The Washington Post)
Union leader Sara Nelson on the value of essential labor in the U.S. (Video: The Washington Post)


Sara Nelson, International President, Association of Flight Attendants

Sara Nelson has served as the International President of the Association of Flight Attendants-CWA, AFL-CIO since 2014, and she is currently serving her second four-year term. She first became a union member in 1996 when she was hired as a Flight Attendant at United Airlines and today she represents nearly 50,000 of aviation’s first responders at 17 airlines. The New York Times called her “America’s most powerful flight attendant” for her role in helping to end the 35-day Government Shutdown and InStyle Magazine placed her on their 2019 Top 50 Badass Women list.

Andre Perry, Author, “Know Your Price: Valuing Black Lives and Property in America’s Black Cities”

Andre M. Perry is a fellow in the Metropolitan Policy Program at the Brookings Institution and is the author of the new book Know Your Price: Valuing Black Lives and Property in America’s Black Cities []. A nationally known and respected commentator on race, structural inequality, and education, Perry is a regular contributor to MSNBC and has been published by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Nation, and Perry has also made appearances on HBO, PBS, CNN, National Public Radio, NBC, and ABC. His research focuses on race and structural inequality, education, and economic inclusion. Perry’s recent scholarship at Brookings has analyzed Black-majority cities and institutions in America, focusing on valuable assets worthy of increased investment.

Paul Romer, Nobel Laureate; Professor, New York University School of Law

Paul Romer, economist and policy entrepreneur, is a co-recipient of the 2018 Nobel Prize in Economics Sciences and University Professor in Economics at NYU. He has spent his career at the intersection of economics, innovation, technology, and urbanization, working to speed up human progress.

Paul received the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences for his work “integrating technological innovations into long-run macroeconomic analysis,”
which integrated ideas and innovation into economic models for the first time, making clear the societal benefits possible when people join together and collaborate in new ways.

Paul previously served as the Chief Economist at the World Bank where he worked to advance the multilateral institution’s critical research function. He is the Founding Director of NYU’s Marron Institute of Urban Management, which works to help cities plan for their futures and improve the health, safety, and mobility of their citizens, as well as the founder of the Charter Cities initiative, which introduced a framework designed to help traditionally disenfranchised populations share in the benefits of rapid urbanization.

Content from The Rockefeller Foundation

Content from The Rockefeller Foundation (Video: The Washington Post)

Supporting Economic Power in Marginalized Communities

Every week, we see new data backing up how this crisis is exacerbating deep inequities. Beyond the data, we can see the inequity in lived experiences in the U.S. and around the world. Black Americans, for example, are twice as likely to die of COVID-19 and Black mothers are twice as likely to leave a job due to pandemic as White mothers. How do we enable a recovery that provides equitable and sustainable opportunity? Rockefeller Foundation president Rajiv J. Shah and Bipartisan Policy Center founder & president discuss ways to build a recovery that reverses centuries of injustice, offer everybody a chance to participate in America’s progress and fight for truly equal opportunity for all of America’s working families.

Rajiv J. Shah, President, The Rockefeller Foundation

Dr. Shah serves as President of the Rockefeller Foundation, a global institution with a mission to promote the well-being of humanity around the world. The Foundation applies data, science, and innovation to improve health for women and children, create nutritious and sustainable food systems, end energy poverty for more than a billion people worldwide, and enable meaningful economic mobility in the United States and around the world.

In 2009, he was appointed USAID Administrator by President Obama and unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate. Dr. Shah reshaped the $20 billion agency’s operations in more than 70 countries around the world by elevating the role of innovation, creating high impact public-private partnerships, and focusing US investments to deliver stronger results. Shah secured bipartisan support that included the passage of two significant laws – the Global Food Security Act and the Electrify Africa Act. He led the U.S. response to the Haiti earthquake and the West African Ebola pandemic, served on the National Security Council, and elevated the role of development as part of our nation’s foreign policy. Prior to his appointment at USAID, Shah served as Chief Scientist and Undersecretary for Research, Education and Economics at the United States Department of Agriculture where he created the National Institute for Food and Agriculture.

Shah founded Latitude Capital, a private equity firm focused on power and infrastructure projects in Africa and Asia and served as a Distinguished Fellow in Residence at Georgetown University. Previously, he served at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, where he created the International Financing Facility for Immunization which helped reshape the global vaccine industry and save millions of lives.

Raised outside of Detroit, Michigan, Dr. Shah is a graduate of the University of Michigan, the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, and the Wharton School of Business. He has received several honorary degrees, the Secretary of State’s Distinguished Service Award, and the U.S. Global Leadership Award. He is married to Shivam Mallick Shah and they have three children.

Jason Grumet, President, Bipartisan Policy Center

Jason Grumet, founder and president of the Bipartisan Policy Center is respected on both sides of the aisle for his innovative approach to improving government effectiveness and impacting public policy.

Over the last decade, BPC has combined the best ideas from both parties to promote health, security, and opportunity for all Americans. Under Grumet’s leadership, BPC has harnessed the power of collaboration to advocate for principled and politically viable policy solutions to major policy challenges facing our country. In 2019, BPC played a significant role in successful legislative efforts to strengthen key early childhood programs, accelerate the development of low-carbon energy technologies, expand access to retirement security for millions of Americans, and improve the nation’s response to the migration crisis at the southern border.

In 2001, Grumet founded and directed the National Commission on Energy Policy, which produced a comprehensive set of policy recommendations many of which were incorporated into the 2005 Energy Policy Act. Previously, Grumet led the Northeast States for Coordinated Air Use Management, where he expanded the organization’s technical and advocacy capabilities and increased its presence in national policy discussions.

Grumet regularly authors commentaries and editorials in national publications and participates in broadcast interviews on major cable news networks. He is frequently called upon to testify before Congressional committees on a range of topics, speak at national forums, and supply guidance to policymakers and business leaders.

Grumet is the author of City of Rivals: Restoring the Glorious Mess of American Democracy, released in September 2014.

Grumet received a Bachelor of Arts from Brown University and J.D. from Harvard University. He lives in Bethesda, Maryland with his wife and three children.

Interviewed by Jeanne Meserve, Journalist, CTV News

Jeanne Meserve is a homeland security expert and analyst, moderator, and award-winning journalist. She is currently a Security Expert for Canada’s CTV News. While a correspondent and anchor at CNN and ABC Jeanne earned her profession’s highest honors, including two Emmys and an Edward R. Murrow Award. She also contributed to two CNN Peabody Awards.

Jeanne is a member of the Homeland Security Experts Group and the Transatlantic Commission on Election Integrity, and serves on the board of the non-profit Space Foundation.

She moderates discussions on topics ranging from technology and security, to medicine and the environment. Clients include AtlanticLIVE, the Munich Security Conference, the Aspen Security Forum, the Halifax International Security Forum, and the global conferences of the International Women’s Forum.

At CNN Meserve created the homeland security beat, covering intelligence, law enforcement, cyber, aviation, border and port security. She anchored worldwide coverage of the Yitzhak Rabin assassination and the death of Princess Diana, and was the first to report on the devastating flooding in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. She was a key member of the CNN political team during the 1996 and 2000 elections. While at ABC News she covered the State Department and reported from the Middle East, Asia and Europe.