Tara Watson is the Director of the Center on Children and Families at the Brookings Institution. She is also Professor of Economics at Williams College, where she has been on the faculty since 2004, a research associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research, and a co-editor of the Journal of Human Resources. Watson was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Microeconomic Analysis at the U.S. Treasury from 2015 to 2016. She has also been a visiting researcher at the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston, a Robert Wood Johnson Scholar in Health Policy Research at the University of Michigan, and a research associate with Princeton University’s Center for Research on Child Wellbeing. She earned a B.A. from Wesleyan University in 1996 and a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University in 2003.
Watson’s work focuses on U.S. social policy, including immigration and the safety net. Watson’s book with journalist Kalee Thompson, The Border Within: The Economics of Immigration in an Age of Fear, was published by University of Chicago Press in 2021.
Watson lives in the D.C. area with her family and poorly-behaved dog.