Nancy Rankin

Nancy Rankin

Vice President for Policy, Research and Advocacy

Joined CSS: 2001, and rejoined in 2011

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Departments & Programs

The Unheard Third


Nancy Rankin leads CSS's research on labor, youth and housing issues, using rigorous analysis to advance policies that increase economic security and upward mobility for low-income New Yorkers. More than a decade ago, she inaugurated The Unheard Third, an annual survey that tracks the hardships and views of low-income New Yorkers. The findings have helped shape CSS's agenda and been cited by The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Crains and the ethnic press, and in New York Daily News editorials supporting minimum wage increases. Nancy's research first identified the widespread lack of paid sick days among low-wage workers and its impact on family economic security and health. As one of the leaders of the successful paid sick days campaign in New York City, she helped pass the 2013 law that will provide this basic labor standard for over a million workers who lacked even a single day of paid sick leave. 

Nancy has written and spoken extensively on issues affecting low-income working families. She coined the term "on-ramps" to explain the need to create ways for women who have taken time out for child-rearing to re-enter the career highway. The term has since gained widespread currency and many firms have implemented on-ramp programs. She was also an early proponent of using social security to finance paid family leave and is now helping lead the campaign to modernize New York State's Temporary Disability Insurance system to include paid family leave.

Earlier in her career, Nancy was a management consultant and held positions in New York State and City government. She created New York State's pioneering Enriched Housing program which provides an alternative to institutionalization for the elderly. A graduate of Cornell, she received her Masters in Public Affairs from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton. She also currently serves as President of the Board of DOROT, a nonprofit organization that mobilizes volunteers to reduce social isolation and provide practical help for the frail elderly.

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