Personnel Changes on the Obama Social Innovation Team

Comings and goings:

  • Dave Wilkinson: Dave Wilkinson has been named the new head of the White House Office of Social Innovation and Civic Participation. He is replacing Jonathan Greenblatt, who left the position to lead the Anti-Defamation League. Wilkinson previously served in that office as Senior Policy Advisor for Social Finance and Innovation where, according to a story in The Chronicle of Philanthropy, he focused on the administration’s pay-for-success efforts.
  • Robert Gordon: Robert Gordon is leaving the Department of Education, where he served as a senior advisor on evidence issues. Last year, Gordon was nominated to be the department’s Assistant Secretary for Planning, Evaluation, and Policy, but his nomination was never voted on in the Senate according to a story in Education Week. He also previously served at OMB, where he played a large role in shaping the Obama administration’s evidence and innovation initiative. Gordon’s central role was a described by Ron Haskins in his recent book, Show Me the Evidence, and he was one of the featured speakers at the related Brookings book event in December. He is moving on to the College Board.
  • Jim Shelton: Jim Shelton, former Deputy Secretary at the Department of Education (and before that, Assistant Secretary for Innovation and Improvement where he oversaw the i3 and Promise Neighborhoods programs), is now a senior advisor at Bridgespan on social innovation and anti-poverty issues.
  • Kathy Stack: Kathy Stack has left her position as a senior career staffer at OMB overseeing the Office of Evidence and Innovation. Her departure comes after 34 years of service, most recently including what appears to be a significant step forward for the administration’s evidence and innovation initiatives in the president’s proposed FY 2016 budget.

In other news, the administration has released a one-year progress report on its ‘My Brother’s Keeper‘ initiative. As originally proposed, the initiative included a significant evidence and outcomes component. It is currently overseen by Michael Smith, who previously ran the Social Innovation Fund.

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