NGA Senior Research Associate
Rachael Stephens serves as the director of the workforce development program in the Economic Opportunity Division in the NGA Center for Best Practices. She oversees workforce development policy, research and technical assistance provision to governors and states with a focus on expanding access to economic opportunity through high-quality training and employment. Program areas of focus include preparing the future workforce; reskilling and upskilling for incumbent and dislocated workers; expanding work-based learning, apprenticeship, and youth apprenticeship; occupational licensing reform; the impacts of automation and on-demand or ‘gig’ work on the workforce; employment and training for people with disabilities; and general state workforce system governance and best practices. In addition to overseeing ongoing work in these areas, Rachael serves as the lead Economic Opportunity Division representative on NGA’s internal taskforce coordinating COVID-19 response and reopening support and technical assistance provision to governors and states.
Rachael’s research has been featured in Bloomberg Business Week, Forbes, and Philanthropy Daily. Rachael holds a master’s degree in public policy from the John F. Kennedy School of Government at Harvard University, and a B.A. in economics from Bryn Mawr College.