Decision-makers at the highest levels in the United States are putting people’s financial resilience at the top of their leadership agenda. Cross-sector leaders shared why this kitchen table issue is a matter of national urgency and what they’ve committed to do to ensure that everyone in the U.S. can bounce back from an emergency. In this discussion you will hear what the household financial safety net of the future needs to look like in an America that is facing an increasingly unpredictable set of challenges.
Senator Cory Booker (D-NJ)
Cory Booker believes that the American dream isn’t real for anyone unless it’s within reach of everyone. Booker has dedicated his life to fighting for those who have been left out, left behind, or left without a voice. Booker grew up in northern New Jersey and received his undergraduate degree from Stanford University. At Stanford, Booker played varsity football, volunteered for the campus peer counseling center, and wrote for the student newspaper. He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship and went on to study at the University of Oxford, and then Yale Law School, where he graduated in 1997. After graduating law school, Booker moved to Newark and started a nonprofit organization to provide legal services for low-income families, helping tenants take on slumlords. In 1998, Booker moved into the Brick Towers housing project in Newark, where he lived until its demolition in 2006. Booker still lives in Newark’s Central Ward today, where the median household income is less than $15,000. At 29, Booker was elected to the Newark City Council, where he challenged the city’s entrenched political machine and fought to improve living conditions for city residents, increase public safety, and reduce crime. Starting in 2006, Booker served as Newark’s mayor for more than seven years. During his tenure, the city entered its largest period of economic growth since the 1960s. In addition, overall crime declined and the quality of life for residents improved due to initiatives such as more affordable housing, new green spaces and parks, increased educational opportunities, and more efficient city services. In October 2013, Booker won a special election to represent New Jersey in the United States Senate. In November 2014, Senator Booker was re-elected to a full six-year term. As New Jersey’s junior Senator, Cory Booker has brought an innovative and consensus-building approach to tackling some of the most difficult problems facing New Jersey and our country. He has emerged as a national leader in the effort to fix our broken criminal justice system and end mass incarceration, helping craft the most sweeping set of criminal justice reforms in a generation, the First Step Act, which became law in December 2018. Booker has also worked to reform America’s broken food system, address our nation’s nutrition crisis, and end food insecurity. Booker sits on the Judiciary Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition, and Forestry, and the Small Business Committee.
Senator Todd Young (R-IN)
Senator Todd Young represents Hoosiers in the United States Senate. He currently serves on the Senate Committees on Finance; Foreign Relations; Commerce, Science & Transportation; and Small Business and Entrepreneurship. A fifth-generation Hoosier, Todd grew up watching his parents work hard in order to support the family. His first jobs were delivering newspapers, mowing lawns, and providing janitorial services at the family business. Todd is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy in Annapolis, Maryland. He graduated with honors in 1995 and accepted a commission in the U.S. Marine Corps. In 2000, Todd was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps as a Captain. While serving in the Marines and working as a business consultant, Todd earned an MBA and his law degree. In 2010, he ran for Congress and served three terms representing Indiana’s 9th District. He was elected to the US Senate in 2016. Todd married his wife Jenny in 2005 and worked together at a small law firm in Paoli, Indiana started by Jenny’s great-grandfather. Today, they reside in Johnson County, Indiana with their four young children: a son, Tucker, and three daughters, Annalise, Abigail and Ava.
Jocelyn Frye, President, National Partnership for Women and Families
Jocelyn Frye is the president of the National Partnership for Women & Families, an organization that works to improve the lives of women and families by achieving equality for all women.
Prior to taking the helm at the National Partnership, Jocelyn served as a senior fellow at the Center for American Progress (CAP) where she shaped and advocated for policies focused on women’s economic security, women’s employment, and women’s rights.
Before her time at CAP, Jocelyn spent four years working in the White House under President Obama — serving as deputy assistant to the president and director of policy and special projects for Michelle Obama.
Jocelyn first worked for the National Partnership as a staff attorney, and eventually was named general counsel. She also served on the National Partnership’s board.
Elizabeth Kelly, Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy, White House National Economic Council
Elizabeth Kelly serves as Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy at the White House National Economic Council, where she leads White House policy and engagement around financial regulation and technology, including digital assets. She previously served as a senior policy advisor on the Biden-Harris Transition Team, where she helped drive efforts related to the American Rescue Plan, and in the Obama White House, where she coordinated the President’s retirement security and financial inclusion agendas. In the private sector, Elizabeth was Senior Vice President of Growth for Capital One Investing, which acquired United Income, an investment management fintech company that she helped grow as SVP of Operations. Elizabeth holds a J.D. from Yale Law School, an MSc in Comparative Social Policy from the University of Oxford, and a B.A. from Duke University.
Franz Paasche, Senior Vice President, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer, PayPal
Franz Paasche serves as PayPal’s Senior Vice President, Chief Corporate Affairs Officer. In this role, Franz is responsible for leading PayPal’s global communications, employee engagement, reputation management, public affairs and strategic research functions. He also oversees PayPal’s global social innovation efforts, working to leverage the company’s core capabilities to deliver meaningful impact at scale for employees, customers and communities.
Franz brings more than 30 years of cross-sector expertise in corporate, government, legal and public affairs domains to his role at PayPal leading stakeholder engagement and building the company’s reputation globally. Before joining PayPal, Franz served as Head of External Relations for North America for McKinsey & Company providing strategic counsel to the firm’s senior leadership and practice leaders. Prior to this, he was a Senior Partner managing the leadership communications practice at Communications Consulting Worldwide, Fleishman Hillard’s multi-disciplinary strategic communications firm. Earlier in his career, Franz held the roles of Managing Director for strategic communications firm Clark & Weinstock; General Counsel and Executive Vice President at the real-time financial information and technology company, Market Data Corporation; and served as a litigator with the international law firm Paul, Weiss, Rifkind, Wharton & Garrison LLP.
He is a life member of the Council on Foreign Relations and has served on the board of the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University Law School since 2018.
Franz earned his JD from the Columbia University School of Law, where he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and an editor of the Columbia Journal of Transnational Law. He graduated from Swarthmore College with High Honors in Political Science, English Literature and American Economic History.
Ida Rademacher, Vice President, Aspen Institute and Co-Executive Director, Aspen Institute Financial Security Program
Ida is Vice President at the Aspen Institute and Co- Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program, a leading national voice on Americans’ financial health. Ida combines her expertise in economic inclusion research and policy with her reputation as a collaborative and creative thinker to raise up a national conversation and solutions set around financial inequality and financial instability. Ida and her team are building a cross-disciplinary community of leaders and change agents who, together, are deeply probing critical financial challenges facing US households and shaping market and policy innovations that can improve the financial security and wellbeing of all Americans.
Prior to leading the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program, Ida was Chief Program Officer at Prosperity Now (formerly CFED), where she created the multi-institutional team that led the CFPB’s Consumer Financial Well-Being Metrics Project, and also led the creation of Upside Down, a program examining ways the US income tax code generates disparate wealth-building opportunities and contributes to growing levels of wealth inequality. Earlier in her career Ida led research and evaluation projects at the Aspen Economic Opportunities Program and the Center for Behavioral and Evaluation Research at the Academy for Educational Development.
Joanna Smith-Ramani, Co-Executive Director, Aspen Institute Financial Security Program
Joanna Smith-Ramani is Co-Executive Director of the Aspen Institute Financial Security Program, a leading national voice on Americans’ financial security. Working with the team, she is building a diverse cross-sector community of leaders (Joanna calls her “quirky Thanksgiving table”) who, together, are using their shared accumulated wisdom and humanity to deeply investigate and solve the most critical financial challenges facing U.S. households.
Joanna has more than 20 years of experience across community, personal finance, and asset development. Prior to joining Aspen FSP as the Director of its Expanding Prosperity Impact Collaborative (EPIC), Joanna served as Senior Innovation Director at Commonwealth.
Joanna holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the Harvard Kennedy School and a B.A. in Urban Studies from Barnard College, Columbia University. She serves on the Board of the CASH Campaign of Maryland and A Wider Circle, and was selected to the 2017-2018 class of Leadership Montgomery.