Robert Doar is the Morgridge Fellow in Poverty Studies at the American Enterprise Institute (AEI) where he studies and evaluates how free enterprise and improved federal policies and programs can reduce poverty and provide opportunities for vulnerable Americans. Specifically Doar focuses on the employment, health, education, and community participation of low income Americans and their children.
Before joining AEI, Doar was commissioner of New York City’s Human Resources Administration where he administered 12 public assistance programs for the largest local social services agency in the United States. Programs included welfare, food assistance, public health insurance, home care for the elderly and disabled, energy assistance, child support enforcement services, adult protective services and domestic violence assistance, as well as help for people living with HIV/AIDS. Prior to joining the Bloomberg administration, Doar was New York State commissioner of social services where he helped to make New York a model for the implementation of welfare reform. Since joining AEI he has written for the Wall Street Journal, the National Review, and Real Clear Markets.
Doar has a bachelor’s degree in history from Princeton University.
Commissioner, New York City Human Resources Administration, Department of Social Services, 2007–14
Commissioner, New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, 2003–06
Executive Deputy Commissioner, New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, 2000–03
Deputy Commissioner, Child Support Enforcement, New York State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, 1995–2000
We need to ensure that the actions that we take in creating job opportunities end in positive results and provide paths to consistent, long-term employment. While subsidized jobs programs may produce those results for some individuals in some job sectors, they are not the panacea for Americans seeking full time employment.
The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) alleviates material hardshipm, reduces poverty, helps the elderly and disabled, and provides needed food to children in low income families. Despite these positive aspects, some efforts to promote the use of SNAP in the post-recession period have reduced the work support aspect of the program.
The nation's work participation rate for cash welfare recipients is not only on the wrong track, it appears to be off the track. Or maybe it would be better to say the nation has lost the track. Any way you look at it, it is not good.
"Poverty in America" is a compilation of AEI scholars’ thinking on why fighting for the poor is a moral imperative; what demands special attention in the debate; and which policy proposals could enable the labor market, social safety net, and broader society to provide low-income Americans a better shot at success.