Barbara Dyer


Barbara Dyer

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Barbara Dyer is a Research Affiliate of the MIT Institute for Work and Employment Research (IWER) at the MIT Sloan School of Management. She is also a Fellow of the National Academy of Public Administration.

In her work with IWER, Dyer focuses her attention at the intersection of people, profit, and technology. Previously, as the Executive Director of the Good Companies, Good Jobs Initiative within Sloan’s Institute for Work and Employment Research (IWER), Dyer worked to facilitate the cross-fertilization of ideas about making work work for everyone in the 21st century. In her role as Fellow of the National Academy, Dyer concentrates on work in the public sector, and the ways in which the public sector affects low-wage work on the ground.

As a Senior Lecturer at MIT Sloan, she was instrumental in designing and teaching two innovative courses for MBAs: People and Profits - Shaping the Work of the Future; and Bridging the American Divides - Work, Community and Culture (aka USA Lab).

Her recent articles and publications include:

“Lend a Hand to Ensure Our Elections Stay Safe, Secure, Trustworthy.” Dyer, Barbara and Terry Gerton, Albany Democrat-Herald, March 14, 2023, updated August 29, 2023.

“How Biden Can Heal America’s Divisions at Work.” Kochan, Thomas, and Barbara Dyer, The Hill, November 25, 2020.

 ”A Case Study of Integrating Technology and Work Systems at Kaiser Permanente’s Health Hubs.” Arora, Anubhav, Barbara Dyer, and Thomas Kochan. MIT Task Force on the Work of the Future working paper, November 4, 2020.

“Six Labor Policies We Need Now.” Kelly, Erin L., Emilio J. Castilla, Thomas A. Kochan, Barbara Dyer, Paul Osterman, and Nathan Wilmers, Boston Review, September 4, 2020.

“What We Owe Essential Workers.” Kochan, Thomas, and Barbara Dyer, The Hill, May 1, 2020.

“Giving a Voice—and Support—to American Workers.”  Dyer, Barbara, and Thomas Kochan, Aspen Institute blog, April 15, 2020.

Dyer, Barbara, Foreword to Creating Good Jobs: An Industry-Based Strategy. Osterman, Paul (Ed.). Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2020.

 “Why Your Hard Work Isn’t Paying Off the Way It Used To.” Kochan, Thomas and Barbara Dyer, Boston Globe Magazine, June 18, 2019.

“Worker Voice in America’s Working Future.” Dyer, Barbara, Good Companies, Good Jobs Initiative at MIT Sloan digest, 2019.

“A Dance With Technology: Automation and Tomorrow’s Jobs.” Dyer, Barbara, Good Companies, Good Jobs Initiative at MIT Sloan digest, 2018.

Prior to joining the MIT faculty, Dyer was president and CEO of The Hitachi Foundation. Under her leadership, the Foundation was an influential force in bringing focus to the role of business in society. She was instrumental in shaping major national collaborative philanthropic initiatives that received high honors proffered by the Council on Foundations, including the Critical Impact and the Distinguished Grantmaker awards.

Dyer’s extensive career in public policy included serving as special assistant to the Secretary of the United States Department of the Interior; director of policy studies with the Council of Governors’ Policy Advisors; an affiliate of the National Governors’ Association; deputy executive director of the Western Regional Office of the Council of State Governments; and founding director of the National Academy of Public Administration’s Alliance for Redesigning Government. Earlier in her career she served as executive director of a community nonprofit organization in Alameda County, California, and helped to launch an experimental school within a public high school as a teacher in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Dyer is a member of the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Election Workforce Advisory Council.  At the National Academy she serves as member of the Elections Working Group, the Standing Panel on Intergovernmental Systems’ Working Group on Homelessness, and the Elliot L. Richardson Prize for Excellence in Public Service Selection Committee.  She is a former trustee of Clark University and was a member the American University School of Public Affairs Dean’s Advisory Council. She also cofounded and was the first chair of the National Fund for Workforce Solutions.

She is a graduate of Clark University and the John F. Kennedy School of Government’s Program for Senior Executives in State and Local Government.