Elisabeth Reynolds

Lecturer in Innovation and Competitiveness

Elisabeth Reynolds is a Lecturer and Principal Research Scientist focused on systems of innovation, regional economic development and industrial competitiveness. Her research and practice centers on regional cluster development and innovation systems as well as advanced manufacturing, growing innovative companies to scale, and building innovation capacity in developed and developing countries. 

She recently served in the Biden Administration at the National Economic Council as Special Assistant to the President for Manufacturing and Economic Development from 2021 to October, 2022. In that capacity, she was engaged in many of the country’s supply chain challenges as well as helped to develop the Biden Administration’s manufacturing agenda and broader industrial strategy including around infrastructure, semiconductors and clean energy. 

She was Executive Director of the MIT Industrial Performance Center from 2010 to 2021 and co-led with Professors David Autor and David Mindell MIT’s Task Force on the Work of the Future. The Task Force, which ran from 2018-2021, was an institute-wide initiative with 20+ faculty examining the relationship between new technologies such as AI and robotics and the nature of work and how U.S. institutions need to be strengthened to support workers more broadly. In 2021, Autor, Mindell and Reynolds published Work of the Future: Building Better Jobs in an Age of Intelligent Machines.   
Before coming to MIT for her Ph.D., Reynolds was the Director of the City Advisory Practice at the Initiative for a Competitive Inner City (ICIC), a non-profit founded by Professor Michael Porter focused on job and business growth in inner city and urban areas. 
Liz holds a B.A. in government from Harvard. She was the Fiske Scholar at Trinity College, Cambridge and holds a Master’s in Economics from the University of Montreal as well as a Ph.D. from MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning.