Research Director
Pronouns: she/her/hers
Phone: 213.740.0745

Jennifer Ito is the Research Director at the USC Equity Research Institute where she conducts research primarily on issues of regional inclusion and social movement building. Jennifer has co-authored several Equity Research Institute publications including States of Change: A Framework for Progressive Governance (with Manuel Pastor and Madeline Wander), Getting Real About Reform: Estimating Gains from Changes to California’s System of Assessing Commercial Real Estate (with Justin Scoggins and Manuel Pastor), and Transforming Lives, Transforming Movement Building: Lessons from the National Domestic Workers Alliance Strategy-Organizing-Leadership (SOL) Initiative (with Rachel Rosner, Vanessa Carter, and Manuel Pastor).

Before joining the Equity Research Institute , Ito worked for nine years in varied capacities at Strategic Concepts in Organizing and Policy Education (SCOPE), a grassroots organizing and movement building organization based in South Los Angeles. As Research Director, her areas of focus included clean energy economic and workforce development policy and campaign development, tax and fiscal policy reform, and workforce development policy. Ito also provided trainings and capacity-building support, such as GIS, campaign development, and power analysis.

Appointed by the California Assembly Speaker, she served on the California Commission on the 21st Century Economy in 2009 which was tasked with stepping back from the immediate fiscal crisis to evaluate the state’s tax structure and to recommend reforms. She also served on the California State Controller’s Council of Economic Advisors examining tax reform proposals. She currently serves on the boards of the Liberty Hill Foundation, Economic Roundtable, and Asian Pacific Environmental Network Action. She holds a Masters in Urban Planning from UCLA.

Areas of Expertise:

  •     Social Movement Research
  •     Regional Equity
  •     Movement Building