5 in 5: Matt Klein, New York City’s Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity
Results for America Fellowship Alumni give five answers in five minutes. This month, we caught up with Matt Klein, Executive Director of the Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity (NYC Opportunity) for the City of New York, NY.
- Summarize what you do and how you do it.
I lead the NYC Mayor’s Office for Economic Opportunity — we use evidence and innovation to help the City reduce poverty and advance equity.
- Share something exciting that you’re working on.
As New York City continues to respond to the pandemic, we are also building on experiences from the crisis to emerge a more equitable city. As unprecedented numbers of people have sought public support, we are developing new digital tools to help residents more easily find relevant services. A new subsidized job program supporting our hard-hit restaurants in partnership with One Fair Wage also requires employers’ longer-term commitments to equitable wage and employment practices. And we are creating new ways of reporting on racial and other disparities across a range of social conditions.
- Tell us one thing you learned from someone else during your RFA Fellowship.
I learned so much, including that so many challenges — policy and program considerations or managing effectively in the public sector — are similar across cities. I gained insights about conducting equity assessments and action plans, results-based budgeting and other specific tools, but most importantly, I learned it is important and energizing to have a network of like-minded collaborators outside of my own city.
- If you could wave a magic wand and have any data or evidence, what would it be?
I would love to have more cost-per-outcome data. Too often programs and policies are assessed by their overall cost or cost per participant, not their cost to produce an intended result. Cost per outcome is harder to produce — but I know we can have more of it, even without a magic wand.
- What’s the [pick-your-adjective] job you’ve ever had?
My most formative job was in college, serving as a counselor in a summer youth program founded and operated by other college students. I saw the power and ability of young people to run organizations and change the world, made lifelong friends, and had a (mostly) great time with my group of kids.
Interested in learning more about New York City’s work? Read the December 20, 2018 case study on New York City’s results-driven approach to combating poverty and inequality.
Matt Klein participated in Results for America’s Local Government Fellowship.