M-RCBG Senior Fellow-Led Study Group: Chris Pilkerton

Wednesday, April 3,  4:15-5:45 (rescheduled from February 13)
M-RCBG Conference Room (B-102)

The American Dream stems from a belief that one’s circumstances should not serve as an obstacle to what one can achieve. While this approach is aspirational, there are undoubtedly social and economic realities that can impact this journey- particularly for underserved communities. And while this reality has affected many generations of individuals, what is the solution? This conversation will examine certain components of conservative historical thinking on these issues, and the impact that recent legislative and regulatory efforts have achieved to address certain of these challenges. From poverty to criminal justice to workforce and entrepreneurial opportunities, this discussion will serve to point out some of the successes and failures of well-intended government policies to support the underserved, and present a bipartisan solution that seeks to advance opportunities for these communities.

This study group / discussion is open only to HUID holders.

M-RCBG welcomes individuals with disabilities to participate in its programs. To request accommodations or ask questions about access provided, please email: mrcbg@hks.harvard.edu

Chris Pilkerton head shotChris Pilkerton is the former head of the US Small Business Administration, SBA general counsel and a White House Senior Policy Advisor. He currently serves as the Chief Legal and Regulatory Strategy Officer for Accion Opportunity Fund, the nation’s leading non-profit community development financial institution supporting small businesses in underserved communities.  He is also cofounder of the Small Business Corps (SBC), and an Executive-In-Residence at Georgetown University’s Business for Impact Center to implement the SBC, which seeks to provide opportunities for recent university graduates to directly consult with small businesses in underserved communities across the country.  Chris is the coauthor of the policy book Underserved: Harnessing the First Principles of Lincoln’s Reconstruction for Today’s Forgotten Communities.  He previously worked as a compliance director at JP Morgan Chase, where he was named one of Fortune’s 50 Heroes of the Fortune 500 in recognition of efforts to support Liberian orphans impacted by ebola. He began his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in Manhattan, working as a trial lawyer in both the Office of the Special Narcotics Prosecutor and the Office of Money Laundering and Tax Crimes. He later went on to become Senior Counsel in the Division of Enforcement at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. Chis has also been an Executive-In-Residence at Johns Hopkins University’s Business School and the Associate Director of the Law and Public Policy Program at the Catholic University of America Columbus School of Law (CUA). Chris was a Fulbright Teaching Scholar at Jagiellonian University in Poland, and holds an MPA from Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs, a JD from CUA and a BA from Fairfield University. During his M-RCBG senior fellowship at the Harvard Kennedy School, Chris will focus his research on the development, deployment, and impact of comparative economic stimulus models during the global pandemic. His faculty sponsor is  Jason Furman, Aetna Professor of the Practice of Economic Policy at Harvard Kennedy School (HKS) and the Department of Economics at Harvard University. Email: cpilkerton@hks.harvard.edu