Amy Liu is Vice President and Director of Brookings Metro and the Adeline M. and Alfred I. Johnson Chair in Urban and Metropolitan Policy. A national expert on cities and metropolitan areas, Liu translates research insights into action on the ground and excels at linking local experiences to federal policymaking. As Director of Brookings Metro, which Liu co-founded in 1996, she pioneered the program's signature approach to state and local engagements, which uses rigorous research to inform strategies for economic growth and opportunity. Liu has worked directly on such strategies with scores of public, private, and philanthropic sector leaders in regions around the country, including Chicago, Detroit, Louisville, San Diego, and Birmingham.
Liu writes frequently about inclusive economic growth, the fortunes of mid-sized cities and small towns, and the intersection of the economic, workforce, and community development policies. She penned a brief that frames ways in which state and local leaders can "Rebuild Better" and achieve a more equitable economic recovery post-COVID-19, and wrote an essay describing how CEOs can advance racial equity in their regional economies. Liu's paper "Remaking Economic Development" has catalyzed shifts in economic development toward higher-quality growth, prosperity, and inclusion for all residents. In 2011, Liu was lead editor of "Resilience and Opportunity: Lessons from the Gulf Coast after Katrina and Rita," which built on her co-authorship of the New Orleans Index, a multiyear series of reports that tracked New Orleans' progress in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Liu is frequently cited in top media outlets such as The New York Times, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, and NPR.
Liu also has extensive experience working with states and the federal government to develop policies and strategies to support cities and metropolitan areas. In 2013, Liu served as a special advisor to the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, guiding policy priorities related to trade, innovation, and data. Prior to Liu's work at Brookings, she was Special Assistant to Housing and Urban Development Secretary Henry Cisneros and staffed the U.S. Senate Banking Committee's subcommittee on housing and urban affairs.
Liu brings her passion for inclusive prosperity and bottom-up action to key nonprofits and institutions. Liu serves on several nonprofit boards such as Equal Measure, which helps local and national organizations advance social change, JUST Capital, which advances stakeholder capitalism among corporations, and Connected DMV, a regional collaborative in greater Washington, D.C. Liu is an advisory council member to ACT for Alexandria, a local community foundation, and Urban Land Institute Washington, and is also a member of the University of Illinois System President's Advisory Council and the Walton Family Foundation Research Advisory Council. Liu has received numerous accolades for her work over the years, including being named to Washington Business Journal's 2021 class of Women Who Mean Business awardees.
Liu holds a degree in social policy and urban studies from Northwestern University. In 2015, Liu completed the High Impact Leadership Program at Columbia Business School.