Shelly Steward

Shelly Steward

Director, Future of Work Initiative, Economic Opportunities Program

Shelly Steward is Director of the Future of Work Initiative.

Shelly is an economic sociologist who studies the changing nature of work in American society. She serves as Director for the Aspen Institute Future of Work Initiative, where she focuses on nonstandard work, workplace benefits and protections, and the gig economy. She also teaches at the University of California’s Washington Center. Her research considers how people understand their position in the labor market and how they navigate increasing insecurity. She has studied the tech and oil and gas industries in depth, examining how people make sense of and internalize the rising risk and uncertainty of these fields. She has been a National Science Foundation Graduate Fellow, a Kinder Scholar at Rice University, and an Assessment and Evaluation Fellow at UC Berkeley. Her research has been published in the Journal of Contemporary Ethnography, the Journal of Consumer Culture, and the Berkeley Journal of Sociology, and she has been quoted in major publications including the Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, and NPR. She holds a PhD in sociology from the University of California, Berkeley and an AB from Harvard College. Prior to becoming a sociologist, Shelly taught middle school science on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota as a Teach for America corps member.

Authored by Shelly