Committee for Economic Development

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The Committee for Economic Development (CED) of The Conference Board is a business-led public policy organization based in Washington, DC. Its membership consists of senior corporate executives and university leaders. The CED conducts research on fiscal health, education, global competitiveness, and democratic institutions.


CED was founded in 1942 by a group of business leaders led by Paul G. Hoffman, President of the Studebaker Corporation; William Benton, co-founder of Benton & Bowles advertising firm; and Marion B. Folsom, treasurer of Eastman Kodak Company. CED's first mission was to help the U.S. economy transition from war to peace-time prosperity. At the end of World War II, CED successfully worked to garnering support among the American business community for the Marshall Plan.

Since its inception in 1942, CED has aimed to promote policies that bring sustained economic growth and development to benefit all Americans. These range from the Marshall Plan in the late 1940s, to education reform in the past three decades, and campaign finance reform since 2000. CED's research findings are coupled with multi-pronged outreach efforts throughout the country and abroad, endeavoring to achieve a tangible impact at the local, state, and national levels.[citation needed]

CED has made significant contributions to policies, such as:

CED Major Policy Influence:

  • Fiscal Health – Fundamental tax and healthcare reform
  • Corporate governance, including the role of women on boards
  • Education – Post-secondary access and achievement; human resources in K-12; business partnerships; performance measurement; STEM achievement
  • Immigration – Visas for skilled workers
  • Older workers
  • Free trade
  • Foreign assistance, and the role of women in growth

On January 1, 2015, CED merged with The Conference Board.


CED's current Chief Executive Officer is Steve Odland. Joseph Minarik is CED’s current Senior Vice President and Director of Research. Michael Petro is CED’s current Executive Vice president. CED is led by its Co-Chairs Roger W. Ferguson Jr., President and CEO, TIAA-CREF, and Carl T. Camden, President and CEO, Kelly Services, Inc. and an Executive Committee.

Policy Projects[edit]

The Committee for Economic Development has six major advocacy projects: Fiscal Health, Postsecondary Education, Money in Politics, Early Learning, Teacher Effectiveness, and Women on Corporate Boards. CED's scholars' research is presented at conferences and meetings, in peer-reviewed reports and publications on the institute's website.

Further reading[edit]

  • Whitham, Charlie. "The Committee for Economic Development, Foreign Trade, and the Rise of American Corporate Liberalism, 1942–8," Journal of Contemporary History 48 (Oct. 2013), 845–71.

External links[edit]