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David Wilkinson, JD

Executive Director, Tobin Center

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David Wilkinson, JD



David Wilkinson is the founding Executive Director of the Tobin Center for Economic Policy at Yale.

Wilkinson is a former senior White House official and has served two Connecticut Governors in cabinet-level roles. His work has contributed meaningfully to fields of data-driven and evidence-based policy in the United States. At the federal and state level, he has helped design, pass and implement laws and policies founded in research and enabled by data-intensive social science. Wilkinson has won national recognition for advancing innovations in government, which have won broad, bipartisan support.

Wilkinson was most recently Connecticut’s Chief Performance Officer, leading statewide efforts to advance data-enabled, results-driven government. Previously, as Commissioner of Early Childhood, he directed one of the state’s largest agencies, deploying or leveraging annual funding of nearly half a billion dollars in support of approximately 200,000 children and families.

As Director of the White House Office of Social Innovation, Wilkinson led efforts in the Obama White House to identify and scale better, more effective government services, advancing Presidential priorities that strengthened communities and enabled upward economic mobility.

In his White House and state cabinet roles, he worked closely with the Child Study Center, which he has described as deeply impactful on his policy work.

His efforts at the federal and state levels have received coverage from more than 100 national and local media outlets, including The New York Times, Time Magazine, and the Associated Press. Wilkinson is a is a graduate of Yale Law School. He is a Senior Fellow at Yale’s Institution for Social and Policy Studies.

Education & Training

  • JD
    Yale University (2006)

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