Vicki Shabo

Senior Fellow, Paid Leave Policy and Strategy, Better Life Lab

Vicki Shabo is one of the nation’s leading experts on gender equity and work. At New America, Shabo focuses on charting a path to winning paid family and medical leave for every working person in the United States, no matter where they live or work or the job they hold. She works closely with policymakers, advocates, researchers and business leaders on policy design and advocacy strategies. In addition, Shabo is analyzing 2020 races for U.S. President and Congress to understand how candidates and the media are addressing issues related to paid leave, pay equity, workplace harassment, and child care.

For nine years, 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 include 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 multiple times in the U.S. Congress and state legislatures as well as in front of the 2016 Democratic Party’s platform committee. Her opinion pieces have been published at CNN.com, The Hill, New York Times, Refinery 29 and Roll Call and her observations have been featured in hundreds of news stories, including on CBS Sunday Morning, NPR and MSNBC, and in the New York Times, Washington Post, Associated Press and numerous other outlets. She currently serves on the advisory committee of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Paid Family and Medical Leave Task Force and recently served as an advisor to a research project on paid leave and disability convened by the Arc of the United States and the National Center on Children in Poverty.

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, son and two cats.