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  • Writer's pictureProject on Workforce Team

Rachel Lipson heads to the U.S. Department of Commerce


Rachel Lipson, Founder of Project on Workforce at Harvard

After serving as the Project on Workforce's founding director, Rachel Lipson will be joining the U.S. Department of Commerce as a Senior Policy Advisor in the CHIPS Program Office. In this new role, Rachel will be focused on securing robust commitments to workforce development to support the growth of the U.S. semiconductor industry.

In Fall 2019, Rachel joined the Kennedy School to help launch and lead a new interdisciplinary and cross-sector hub at Harvard on the U.S. education, training, and employment ecosystem, alongside David Deming (HKS), Joseph Fuller (HBS), and Robert Schwartz (HGSE). During her leadership tenure, the Project has grown from an early idea to a mature initiative and growing community at the university that now counts hundreds of study group and fellowship alumni as well as many collaborations across state and federal government, higher education, business and the social sector. Over her time as Director, she has also led policy-relevant research on topics ranging from community colleges to apprenticeship to the landscape of workforce development providers, featured in publications including the Boston Globe, Newsweek, The Hill, C-SPAN, Bloomberg, NPR, the Economist, and CNBC. She has served on the Steering Committee of the Project on Workforce's research collaboration with the American Enterprise Initiative and the Brookings Institution, as well as a National Academies of Sciences Committee on STEM workforce.

Rachel holds an A.B., MBA, and MPP from Harvard and is a recipient of the Harvard Certificate of Distinction and Excellence in Teaching and the Kennedy School’s Frederick Fischer Prize for outstanding social policy research. In June, she and Project on Workforce Senior Advisor Bob Schwartz will release a co-edited Harvard Education Press volume America’s Hidden Economic Engines: How Community Colleges Can Drive Shared Prosperity.


The Project on Workforce leadership team congratulates Rachel on her new role and thanks her for all her contributions to our work and to the broader Harvard community.

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