Dr. Joeri Smits’ research at CLJE is on worker boards, with a focus on the Harris County Essential Workers Board in Harris County, Texas. Established in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is the first worker board in the U.S. to be comprised entirely of essential workers. It provides feedback and recommendations to the county on programs, policies, and initiatives that affect low-wage essential workers. An economist by training, Dr. Smits research interests include development and applied microeconomics (labor, health, finance, migration). He holds a master’s degree from the Norwegian University of Life Sciences and a PhD from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) Zurich, and was a postdoc (and taught) at Yale University and at the Harvard Kennedy School.