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Ethan Pollack is a senior director in the Policy & Advocacy unit at JFF. He leads the Financing the Future initiative, whose goal is to reimagine the way education and skills development investments are financed.

In that role, he explores innovative approaches to education financing, including income share agreements, merit-based financing plans, social impact bonds, and individual training accounts. He aims to track the evolution and performance of these models, establish best practices and policy guardrails to ensure that they benefit learners, and cultivate an ecosystem that fosters experimentation and emphasizes consumer protection.

Before joining JFF, Ethan worked on the Future of Work Initiative at the Aspen Institute. There, he examined how sweeping changes to the economy—including the rise of outsourcing and independent work—undermine the social contract, and how policies related to worker training, portable benefits, corporate governance, and worker ownership can create a more inclusive model of capitalism. He authored two of the initiative’s foundational reports: Toward a New Capitalism and Automation and a Changing Economy.

Earlier in his career, he worked at the Pew Charitable Trusts, where he explored the fiscal relationships between federal, state, and local governments and advised state policymakers on how to stabilize their budgets using rainy day funds, debt issuance, and other tools. Before that, he worked for the Economic Policy Institute, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, the U.S. Office of Management and Budget, and Freedman Consulting.

Ethan says he was drawn to JFF by the organization’s willingness to innovate while remaining grounded in concrete evidence and decades of practical experience in workforce, education, economic opportunity programs.

He holds a master’s degree in public policy from George Washington University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of California, Los Angeles.

Outside of work, he helps run a DC-based music and arts nonprofit.