Elisabeth Babcock (Beth) is the President and CEO of Economic Mobility Pathways (EMPath), an international charitable organization dedicated to creating new pathways to economic independence for low-income families. EMPath uses its unique “action-tank” business model to design, build, and test new approaches for creating economic mobility and then shares them with other organizations and governments. Beth’s role as CEO is to lead EMPath in its strategy to be a research and innovations powerhouse consistently delivering new approaches that expedite pathways out of poverty.

EMPath’s applied research led to the development of its groundbreaking Mobility Mentoring® platform. Since its release in 2009, Mobility Mentoring has been internationally recognized for creating significantly improved outcomes in earnings, educational attainment, and family stability in extremely low-income families. Because of this, Mobility Mentoring is being used by federal, state, and local governments and in a community of practice of more than 120 organizations serving more than two million participants across the US and abroad. In 2019, EMPath won the Schmidt Futures/JFF $1 Billion Wage Gain Challenge- a first-time award for US organizations raising the annual earnings of 100,000 citizens each by $10,000 or more.

Beth received her Master’s Degree from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and her Ph.D. in non-profit strategy from Harvard’s Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. She has taught non-profit strategy and implementation for more than two decades at Harvard and Brandeis Universities, written and published widely on economic mobility strategies, and has served as an advisor to such organizations as the World Bank, Gates Foundation’s US Partnership for Mobility from Poverty, and Fannie Mae. She has received numerous awards including the Sesame Street Hero Award, and the International Alliance for Women’s World of Difference Award.

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Selected Publications

Babcock, Elisabeth. “Using Brain Science to Transform Human Services and Increase Personal Mobility from Poverty”, Washington DC: Urban Institute, March, 2018

Schinina, G., Babcock, E. & et.al. “ The integration of livelihood support and mental health and psychosocial wellbeing for populations who have been subject to severe stressors”, Intervention, November, 2016

Babcock, Elisabeth and Ruiz de Luzuriaga, Nicki. “Families Disrupting the Cycle of Poverty: Coaching with an Intergenerational Lens”, Economic Mobility Pathways, July 2016

Babcock, Elisabeth. “Rethinking Poverty: Recent discoveries in brain science shed light on what holds the poor back—and on how to help them get ahead”, Stanford Social Innovation Review, fall 2014. Named a top SSIR article of the year.

Babcock, Elisabeth. “Using Brain Science to Create New Pathways Out of Poverty”, Crittenton Women’s Union, January 2014.

Babcock, Elisabeth. “Mobility Mentoring: New Approaches to Economic Mobility”, Crittenton Women’s Union, April, 2012.

Babcock, Elisabeth. “Your Nonprofit Construction Manager: Complex Solutions Need Dedicated Project Managers,” Stanford Social Innovation Review, Summer 2009.