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David Wilkinson

Executive Director, Tobin Center for Economic Policy

David Wilkinson is the founding Executive Director of the Tobin Center for Economic Policy at Yale.

Wilkinson is a former senior White House official and has served two Connecticut Governors in cabinet-level roles. His work has contributed meaningfully to fields of data-driven and evidence-based policy in the United States. At the federal and state level, he has helped design, pass, and implement laws and policies founded in research and enabled by data-intensive social science. Wilkinson has won national recognition for advancing innovations in government, which have won broad, bipartisan support.

Wilkinson was most recently Connecticut’s Chief Performance Officer, leading statewide efforts to advance data-enabled, results-driven government. Previously, as Commissioner of Early Childhood, he directed one of the state’s largest agencies, deploying or leveraging annual funding of nearly half a billion dollars in support of approximately 200,000 children and families.

As Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation, Wilkinson led efforts in the Obama White House to identify and scale better, more effective government services, advancing Presidential priorities that strengthened communities and enabled upward economic mobility.

Wilkinson previously served on the White House Council for Environmental Quality (CEQ) as Senior Policy Advisor for Impact Investing. At CEQ, he developed policies enabling investors and capital markets to better support sustainability, decarbonization, and environmental resilience.

His efforts at the federal and state levels and at Yale have received coverage from more than 500 national and local media outlets, including The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. Wilkinson is a graduate of Yale Law School. He is an adjunct faculty member at Yale’s Child Study Center; a Senior Fellow at Yale’s Institution for Social and Policy Studies; and a Founding Advisor to Yale’s Data Intensive Social Science Center.