Tax Policy Center



Elaine Waxman

Senior Fellow

Many factors contribute to creating a more just and equitable society; first and foremost is the insistence by citizens that we can collectively achieve a better outcome. Thoughtful research that illuminates how economic, political, and social institutions support or hinder our collective values is a critical contribution to the process, and the opportunity to improve our understanding is the reason I became an applied researcher.

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Elaine Waxman is a senior fellow in the Income and Benefits Policy Center at the Urban Institute. Her expertise includes food insecurity, nutrition and the food assistance safety net, the social determinants of health disparities, and other issues affecting low-income families and communities.

Before joining Urban, Waxman was vice president of research and nutrition at Feeding America, where she oversaw research on food insecurity, the intersection of hunger and health, and the circumstances and experiences of individuals seeking charitable food assistance. She also helped develop community-based intervention models to address the needs of low-income, food-insecure families. From 1999 to 2009, Waxman worked on a series of linked research projects at the University of Chicago on low-wage work and the challenges facing low-income working families.

Waxman has coauthored numerous research and policy reports and articles in scholarly journals, including Applied Economics Perspectives and Policy, Health Affairs, Social Science Review, Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition, Journal of Family and Economic Issues, and Journal of Food Law and Policy. She is a member of the Feeding America Technical Advisory Group, an adviser to the national food and agricultural policy forum Agree, an advisory board member of the Family Resiliency Center at the University of Illinois, and a member of the Aspen Institute Dialogue on Food Insecurity and Health Care Expenditures.

She holds an MPP and a PhD from the University of Chicago, where she is a lecturer.

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