Ida Rademacher is a vice president at the Aspen Institute and executive director of the Aspen Financial Security Program. Since joining the Institute in 2015, Ida has combined her expertise in economic inclusion research and policy with her reputation as a collaborative and creative thinker to expand FSP’s efforts to bring to the national forefront a solutions-focused discussion of how America can actually improve economic growth by addressing growing levels of wealth inequality and household financial insecurity. Her efforts have resulted in the creation of several new cutting-edge initiatives, including the Expanding Prosperity Impact Collaborative (EPIC), the Reconnecting Work and Wealth Initiative, and the Aspen Leadership Forum on Retirement Savings. Through these projects Ida, her team, and others are building a cross-disciplinary community of leaders and change agents who, together, are deeply probing critical financial challenges facing U.S. households and shaping market and policy innovations that can improve the financial security and financial well-being of all Americans.
Throughout her career, Ida has developed a reputation for shaping applied research projects and cross-disciplinary teams capable of using complex data to fuel new insights and fresh thinking about how to build economic inclusion. She remains relatively obsessed with understanding the ways that policy and market conditions and other contextual factors shape human behavior and decision-making. As Chief Program Officer at Prosperity Now (formerly CFED), she created the multi-institutional team responsible for leading the U.S. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau’s Consumer Financial Well-Being Metrics Project, and also led the creation of Upside Down, a program examining ways the U.S. income tax code generates disparate wealth building opportunities and contributes to growing levels of wealth inequality. Earlier in her career she 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.
Ida has testified on numerous occasions before Congress and contributes regularly to news and commentary on consumer financial issues in outlets including the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, Politico and public radio’s Marketplace. She currently serves on several advisory boards and is a Director on the Boards of two of the nation’s leading nonprofit financial technology organizations, The Financial Clinic and EARN.
A resident of Virginia’s Shenandoah Valley and an avid horseback rider, Ida is the first generation in her family to attend college. She pursued postgraduate studies in economic anthropology at the University of Melbourne, Australia; holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the University of Maryland; and a Bachelor of Science degree in anthropology and economics from James Madison University.