The Century Foundation is pleased to announce that the inaugural recipient of the Janice Nittoli “Forward Thinking” Award is Shannon Rieger of Berkeley, California. Rieger will receive a $7,500 stipend to support the research and writing of a policy paper on reducing unemployment and alleviating economic inequality through employee-ownership. The paper is scheduled to be published in the spring of 2016.

“The Century Foundation’s founder, Edward Filene, was a passionate advocate for empowering America’s workers, and to this day we continue to research and develop new policy ideas to strengthening workers’ rights and combat economic inequality,” said TCF President Mark Zuckerman. “We’re excited to see Shannon’s research on employee-ownership develop and have an impact on public policy approaches to reducing unemployment.”

Rieger, who received both her bachelor’s and master’s degree from the University of California, Berkeley, currently works as a planning, research, and policy analyst for the NIAM Group in Berkeley.

“I’m thrilled to have been awarded The Century Foundation Janice Nittoli ‘Forward Thinking’ Award,” said Rieger. “I’m really looking forward to diving into the project and exploring how employee-owned worker-cooperative businesses could form part of the solution to unemployment in the United States.”

The Janice Nittoli “Forward Thinking” Award encourages young analysts to develop innovative policy recommendations that promote economic security and opportunity for American families. The award was created in honor of Janice Nittoli, who served as TCF’s president from August 2011 to March 2014, when she retired due to illness. During her tenure, Nittoli nearly doubled the foundation’s endowment, revitalized its communications program and web presence, and added sixteen new policy experts to TCF’s roster. Under her watch, TCF fellows won a Pulitzer Prize, a National Magazine Award, and the institutional equivalent of the MacArthur Foundation’s so-called “genius awards.”