Meet Hilary Hoynes, Budget Center Board Member


Our vision is of a California where everyone has the opportunity to participate fully in the state’s economic, social, and political life. This will require our state to make smart policy choices and the right kinds of public investments. In working to accomplish this, our team is backed by a diverse and accomplished board of directors, ranging from coalition leaders to the state’s top economists and researchers. The California Budget & Policy Center’s board members bring decades of experience, expertise, and results. In this blog series, we will introduce each of our board members and give you some insight into the leadership that supports and helps guide the Budget Center.


Hilary Hoynes

Hilary Hoynes joined the California Budget & Policy Center’s board of directors in 2016. She is a Professor of Public Policy and Economics and holds the Haas Distinguished Chair in Economic Disparities at the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California, Berkeley. She recently completed a six-year term as co-editor of a leading journal in economics, American Economic Review. Professor Hoynes is currently a member of the Federal Commission on Evidence-Based Policy Making and the National Academy of Sciences Committee on Building an Agenda to Reduce the Number of Children in Poverty by Half in 10 Years. In addition to her faculty appointment, Hilary has research affiliations at the National Bureau of Economic Research, the Center for Poverty Research at the University of California, Davis, and the Institute for Fiscal Studies. Previously, she was a member of the National Advisory Committee of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Scholars in Health Policy Research Program and the Advisory Committee for the National Science Foundation, Directorate for the Social, Behavioral, and Economic Sciences. Hilary received her Ph.D. in economics from Stanford University and her undergraduate degree in economics and mathematics from Colby College.

Why were you interested in joining the board of the Budget Center?
For years I have been a huge fan of the work of the California Budget & Policy Center. As someone who studies policies aimed at the disadvantaged population, the information that comes out of the Center is high quality and high impact. When Chris Hoene approached me I thought, sure, of course, why not?

If you could make one policy change in California, what would it be?
Restore our place as one of the top spending states regarding K-12 education.

What is something people don’t generally know about you?
Two things. One, I was a serious competitive swimmer growing up. Not an Olympian, but a nationally ranked swimmer. Two, throughout a lot of my childhood, my mom worked for the Institute for Research on Poverty, an institute funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services at the University of Wisconsin. Oh yes, and my dad is an academic economist. So I guess the apple does not fall far from the tree in my case!

What’s your favorite thing about living in California?
I love being able to spend a lot of time outdoors. I run year-round, even in this rainy season! Mountains, beaches, woods, we have it all. And, this is a place that is a magnet for people who have hope and an open mind.

Meet the Budget Center’s board of directors.