New President & CEO Spencer Overton Lauded

WASHINGTON, DC The Board of Governors of the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies announced on February 10, 2014, at this important time in the Joint Center’s evolution, the appointment of George Washington University Law Professor Spencer Overton as its new Interim President & CEO.  His appointment is being praised by many in the public policy arena:

“Spencer’s deep legal and policy expertise, as well as his long-standing commitment to ensuring that every American can have a say in our democracy, will enable the Joint Center to remain a vital source of innovative ideas and to maintain its place at the forefront of the policy discussion.  He is an inspired choice to lead the Joint Center.” U.S. Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ)

“At a time when the task of enhancing citizen engagement and voter participation faces enormous challenges, Professor Overton is uniquely qualified to guide the Joint Center in asserting these core parts of its mission and keeping the organization focused on building a better America for all.  His unparalleled policy and academic experience, along with his leadership qualities, will serve the Joint Center well.”  Ralph B. Everett, former President and CEO of the Joint Center

“Spencer Overton, a former ACS Board Member, is one of our nation’s most eloquent and thoughtful advocates for expanding genuine equality and real opportunity for all people.  The Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies is to be commended for tapping Spencer as its leader, turning to an extraordinarily passionate voice for a better tomorrow.”  Caroline Fredrickson, President, The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS)

“Spencer Overton is a passionate advocate for the positions in which he believes.  One of the reasons for his success is his willingness to bring together Republicans and Democrats, scholars and practitioners, advocates and policymakers.  The Joint Center is well positioned to move forward under his leadership.”  Benjamin Ginsberg, Partner, Patton Boggs and former National Counsel to the Bush-Cheney and Mitt Romney presidential campaigns

“Spencer Overton’s experiences in the academy, in government, and in the private sector make him an outstanding choice to lead the Joint Center.  He is uniquely situated to bring together various communities to develop ideas and policy solutions to expand opportunity in our nation.”  Frederick S. Humphries, Jr., Vice President, U.S. Government Affairs, Microsoft Corporation, and Joint Center Board of Governors Member

“Now more than ever, the nation needs the Joint Center to advance policies that will expand America’s promise to all of its people.  Spencer Overton has the wisdom, vision and tenacity to lead this venerable organization to new heights.”  Heather McGhee, President-Select, Demos

“The new appointment of Professor Spencer Overton is something to be celebrated.  His commitment to justice, fairness, and equality confirms that he is the right person to lead the Joint Center.”  Professor Charles J. Ogletree, the Jesse Climenko Professor of Law and the Founder and Executive Director of the Charles Hamilton Houston Institute for Race and Justice at Harvard Law School

“The Joint Center is one of the nation’s premier think tanks.  It is fitting that it has chosen one of the nation’s premier scholars and policy advocates to lead it.  No one is better suited to fulfill the mission of this great organization than Spencer Overton.”  Norman Ornstein, Resident Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

“I am thrilled to congratulate Spencer Overton on his new role leading the Joint Center.  He is incredibly committed, inclusive, smart, and innovative.  I have great confidence that under his leadership, the Joint Center will be a cutting-edge think tank that reflects the emerging diversity of our nation.”  Dan Pabon, Assistant Majority Leader, Colorado General Assembly

“I’ve known Spencer for years and have seen firsthand his deep commitment to a wide variety of public policy issues, from government reform and campaign finance to voting rights.  The Joint Center is fortunate to have someone of Spencer’s energy, talent and proven leadership ability in this important role. As our country becomes more diverse, the work of the Joint Center in ensuring opportunity for all Americans will become even more important, and I’m glad to see Spencer in this critical role.”  Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-ME)

“Our movement needs fresh thinking and leadership to face the important issues of the day.  In Spencer Overton, the Joint Center has selected a leader who doesn’t just fit that bill, but who also has the important mix of academic and practical experience. Spencer is unafraid to search for new solutions or raise big ideas.  His new role at the helm of this important organization is a welcomed one for all of us working to build a movement capable of bringing the change our communities need and deserve.”  Rashad Robinson, Executive Director, Color of Change

Founded in 1970, the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies is a leading think tank on people of color and public policy.  The Joint Center uses research, analysis, and communications to improve the socioeconomic status and political participation of people of color, to promote relationships across racial lines, and to strengthen the nation’s pluralistic society.  To learn more, please visit