Amy Hanauer, founder of Policy Matters Ohio, will assume responsibilities mid-January 2020.

WASHINGTON, DC – Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy (ITEP) and Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) Boards of Directors announced today the appointment of Amy Hanauer as Executive Director to lead the organizations’ tax justice work. Hanauer, founder of Policy Matters Ohio, will assume responsibilities mid-January 2020, joined by long-time ITEP-CTJ team member Meg Wiehe in her expanded role as Deputy Executive Director. Wiehe has served in leadership roles at ITEP-CTJ since 2010. Together the pair will lead the organizations in transforming tax policies to better meet the country’s needs.

“We are pleased to welcome Amy to ITEP-CTJ, where she will continue to give tax justice a voice and help expand our state and national partnerships,” said ITEP Board Chair Joan Entmacher. “ITEP was founded on the belief that taxes are essential to a thriving economy—that they should be equitable, adequate, sustainable and build shared prosperity. Amy’s proven leadership founding and advancing Policy Matters Ohio as a leading voice in the tax justice fight paired with her extensive policy and research background will help ITEP-CTJ build upon these beliefs as we move into our 40th anniversary in 2020 and beyond.”

For nearly 30 years, Hanauer has worked to create economic policy that advances social justice. She founded and developed Policy Matters Ohio from a one-person start-up in 2000 to a 14-person operation with offices in Cleveland and Columbus. Under Hanauer’s guidance, the organization provided research that helped boost Ohio’s minimum wage, establish a state Earned Income Tax Credit, restore collective bargaining rights for public sector workers and expose how tax cuts for the wealthy have not improved Ohio’s job climate.

“Creating a tax system that supports economic justice and racial equity is at the heart of ITEP-CTJ’s vision,” Hanauer said. “ITEP-CTJ is uniquely positioned and well respected as the voice for tax justice. I’m honored to take on this country’s pressing challenges at the helm of an organization dedicated to re-centering tax equity in policymaking.”

Prior to founding Policy Matters, Hanauer opened a Milwaukee office for the think tank COWS, helping place women in unionized manufacturing jobs. In the early 1990s, she worked for Wisconsin State Senator (now U.S. Rep) Gwendolynne Moore’s office, defending the safety net for Wisconsin families.

Hanauer holds multiple leadership posts at the national level, including as a board member for both The American Prospect and Demos Action. She was Vice President of the board of the think tank Demos from 2010-2018. Hanauer also provides leadership to the Economic Analysis and Research Network at the Economic Policy Institute, Ohio Voice and United Way of Greater Cleveland, among other groups.

A graduate of Rockwood Leadership Institute, Hanauer is the author of several publications on worker justice, green jobs and racial and economic equity. Hanauer received her Master of Public Administration from the Lafollette Institute of Public Affairs at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and holds a bachelor’s degree in government from Cornell University.

Hanauer succeeds Alan Essig, who will step down at the end of 2019.

Founded in 1980, the Institute on Taxation and Economic Development (ITEP) is a 501(c)(3) organization that produces timely, accessible and sound research and analysis on federal, state and local tax policy issues to inform policymakers, advocates, the media and the public about tax fairness, adequacy and sustainability and how changes would affect revenues and economic, racial and other inequities. Citizens for Tax Justice (CTJ) is the 501(c)(4) arm of ITEP, allowing additional communications and advocacy. As executive director of both organizations, Hanauer will provide vision and leadership to promote fair and equitable state and national tax policy.