Vicki Shabo

Senior Fellow for Gender Equity, Paid Leave & Care Policy and Strategy, Better Life Lab

Vicki Shabo is a gender equity expert, policy advocate and coalition builder, who has helped to win paid leave, paid sick time, equal pay and pregnancy fairness policies affecting tens of millions of people. For more than a decade, she has been at the forefront of the campaign to win a national paid family and medical leave program.

At New America, Shabo works closely with policymakers, advocates, researchers and the private sector; is a resource to journalists; and advises entertainment-industry creatives on telling stories more reflective of people’s lived experiences and shifting narratives about the role of government in advancing work-family justice and an inclusive economy. During the 2020 election cycle, she tracked and commented on presidential candidates’ inclusion of workplace gender equity policies.

From 2010 to 2019, Shabo led the National Partnership for Women & Families’ workplace policy initiatives, first as director of work and family programs and then as vice president for workplace policies and strategies. Under Shabo’s leadership, the National Partnership’s workplace team helped move national paid leave from a sideline issue into the mainstream of bipartisan political debate, while also contributing substantially to landmark national, state and local policy victories. Some of her team's most important accomplishments included spearheading efforts to secure federal executive actions on paid sick days, equal pay and sex discrimination affecting millions of federal contract workers; providing technical and strategic assistance resulting in dozens of state and local paid leave and paid sick days laws covering an estimated 45 million private-sector workers; and advising companies on policy enhancements that secured access to paid sick days, paid leave or fairer pay for employees and contractors.

Shabo has testified numerous times in the U.S. Congress, state legislatures, and before the Democratic Party’s platform committee. Her opinion pieces have been published at The Boston Globe, CNN.com, The Hill, New York Daily News, New York Times, Refinery 29, Roll Call and USA Today and her observations have been featured widely in national, regional and state news stories. She is an advisor to the Paid Leave for All Campaign; previously served on the advisory committee of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Task Force; and advised a research project on paid leave and disability led by the Arc of the United States and the National Center on Children in Poverty. She is also a member of the National Academies of Social Insurance. Previously, Shabo practiced law at an internationally-recognized law firm, served as a judicial clerk to the Honorable Michael Murphy on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, worked as a pollster and political strategist, conducted private sector market research, and served as a staffer in the U.S. House of Representatives. She holds degrees from Pomona College (B.A., summa cum laude), the University of Michigan (M.A. in political science) and the University of North Carolina School of Law (J.D., high honors), where she served as editor-in-chief of the North Carolina Law Review. She lives in Washington D.C. with her husband, teenager and two cats.