Meegan Dugan Bassett is a fellow who leads the Chicago portfolio in New America Local, in collaboration with the Chicago Community Trust. Her work focuses on how local communities and public policy work to improve equity and economic mobility. Her research interests include the future of work, economic equity, public interest technology, and the burgeoning role of technology in democratic engagement. Prior to joining New America, she worked as a consultant, specializing in ideation, policy advocacy, and strategy to help foundations and nonprofits improve their impact on economic equity. Recent work includes leading the Chicago Citywide Literacy Coalition through a user experience research and career pathways planning project and a paper on increasing bachelors’ degree attainment among blacks and Latinos in Illinois. Previously, she worked as senior policy manager at Women Employed, developing and advocating for policy solutions to improve low-income women’s access to higher education. In that role, she led a successful effort to increase Illinois need-based aid by $35 million and integrate new policies supporting returning adults’ higher education completion.
A former McCormick-Tribune Urban Community Development Fellow at the University of Chicago, Bassett also worked with Dr. Mark Joseph on a ground-breaking study of new mixed-income housing developments in Chicago. Prior to graduate school, she worked in community organizing and workforce development in the city of Chicago including welfare-to-work projects with ex-offenders at Bethel New Life and The Safer Foundation. She holds a B.A. in sociology and Spanish from North Park University and an A.M. from the University of Chicago.