Portraits of Tamar Jacoby

Tamar Jacoby
President & CEO

Tamar Jacoby is president of Opportunity America, a Washington-based nonprofit working to promote economic mobility – work, skills, careers, ownership and entrepreneurship for poor and working Americans.

A former journalist and author, she was a senior writer and justice editor at Newsweek and, before that, the deputy editor of The New York Times op-ed page.

Her articles have appeared in The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, The Weekly Standard and Foreign Affairs, among other publications.

She is the author of “Someone Else’s House: America’s Unfinished Struggle for Integration” and “Displaced: The Ukrainian Refugee Experience.” Her edited volumes include “Reinventing the Melting Pot: The New Immigrants and What It Means To Be American” and “This Way Up: New Thinking About Poverty and Economic Mobility.”

All eyes on Texas: Community colleges focus on preparing the workforce of tomorrow Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, January 2023
Training tomorrow’s workers: Next steps for New York community colleges Manhattan Institute, March 2022
The indispensable institution: Taking the measure of community college workforce education By Tamar, Opportunity America, September 2021
Today’s students, tomorrow’s workforce: A roadmap for change at CUNY community colleges Opportunity America, September 2021
Essential workers: Middle-tier health care jobs in New York City By Tamar Jacoby and Preston Cooper, Opportunity America, March 2021
Kentucky FAME: Fulfilling the promise of apprenticeship By Tamar Jacoby and Ron Haskins, Opportunity America and Brookings Institution, October 2020
The indispensable institution: Reimagining community college Opportunity America Working Group on Community College Workforce Education, June 2020
Skills wanted: CUNY as engine of economic recovery By Tamar Jacoby, Opportunity America, June 2020
Industry certifications: A better bridge from school to work? By Tamar Jacoby, Opportunity America, September 2019
Community college career education: Scaling a new approach By Tamar Jacoby, Lumina Foundation, July 2019
An unknown landscape: Short-term job-focused college programs By Tamar Jacoby, Opportunity America, June 2019
Industry-driven apprenticeship: What works, what’s needed By Tamar Jacoby and Robert I. Lerman, Urban Institute, February 2019
Work, skills, community: Restoring opportunity for the working class Opportunity America, American Enterprise Institute and Brookings Institution, November 2018
Rethinking the mission: community colleges and workforce education By Tamar Jacoby, American Enterprise Institute, November 2017
Employers & job training: New Jersey as laboratory for America By Tamar Jacoby, Opportunity America, July 2017
The new CTE: NYC as laboratory for America By Tamar Jacoby and Shaun M. Dougherty, Manhattan Institute, March 2016
What works: English-language learning in America
By Tamar Jacoby, Manhattan Institute, December 2015
The Certification Revolution By Tamar Jacoby, Thomas B. Fordham Institute paper, December 2014
Vocational Education 2.0 By Tamar Jacoby, Manhattan Institute, November 2013

Dallas Federal Reserve Bank Southwest Economy, third quarter 2021
Community colleges are an agile new player in job training Wall Street Journal, 9-23-21
Midlevel health workers deserve more philanthropic support Chronicle of Philanthropy, 6-29-21
Recognizing unsung health care workers and the promise of midlevel jobs New York Daily News, 3-31-21
Career and technical education and the soft bigotry of low expectations Thomas B. Fordham Institute, 1-28-21
Can community colleges be a post-Covid engine of economic recovery? Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity, 1-27-21
Helping workers displaced by the Covid-19 economy Wall Street Journal, 12-18-20
Can community colleges step up as engines of economic recovery? Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta Workforce Currents, 11-13-20
CUNY can drive NYC’s resurgence New York Daily News, 7-8-20
Immigrant entrepreneurs and the barriers they face Kauffman Foundation Currents, 3-19-20
The untapped potential of community college career education Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity, 8-7-19
Community colleges and career education Education Next, 11-28-18
Toward a conservative agenda on opportunity: A conversation with Tamar Jacoby Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity, 2-7-18
Visiting working class America By Tamar Jacoby and Isabel Sawhill, Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity, 10-4-17
Trump’s job training program gets the government out of the way Huffington Post, 6-22-17
Fixing America’s infrastructure is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to build a better workforce Los Angeles Times, 6-14-17
Could conservatives lead the fight against poverty?
Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity, 12-7-16
On Poverty Day: Let’s remember forgotten Americans Spotlight on Poverty and Opportunity, 9-13-16
Keeping New York City on the cutting edge of technical education
New York Slant, 4-14-16
Beyond survival English Los Angeles Times, 1-5-16
Immigration reform starts with English-language learning The Washington Examiner, 12-17-15
Wal-Mart tests ‘upskilling’ The Wall Street Journal, 9-4-15
Technology isn’t a job killer The Wall Street Journal, 5-20-15
Stuck in the middle with you The Weekly Standard, 2-9-15
Getting credit for what you know The Atlantic, 1-29-15
Why Germany is so much better at training its workers The Atlantic, 10-16-14
This Way Up: Mobility in America The Wall Street Journal, 7-22-14
The right ideas . . . for fighting poverty The Weekly Standard, 2-17-14
The college-for-all model isn’t working Los Angeles Times, 12-3-13

Testimony US House Committee on Education and the Workforce, 5-9-18
Testimony Congressional CTE Caucus field hearing, Harrisburg, PA, 10-24-14

WorkingNation Work in Progress podcast on postsecondary education and training, 10-20-20
C-SPAN Washington Journal, New report on the working class, 12-3-18
AEI Podcast Channel New skills marketplace, 11-28-17
C-SPAN Thomas B. Fordham Institute panel on high school choice, 8-22-17

This Way Up, American Enterprise Institute, January 2018

Before founding Opportunity America, Jacoby was founder and president of ImmigrationWorks USA.
Please click here to read her work on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

Please click here to read her work on race and immigration.