Special Briefing on the Biden Infrastructure Plan: Unmet Needs and State of Play

Title special briefing with a podium under a spotlight



Watch a Special Briefing on the Biden Infrastructure Plan: Unmet Needs and State of Play

Thursday, October 21, 2021, at 11 a.m. EDT

The Volcker Alliance and Penn Institute for Urban Research cohosted a Special Briefing on President Biden’s infrastructure plan and the unmet needs of US states and municipalities. Our expert panel included Carolyn Coleman, Executive Director and CEO of the League of California Cities; Andrew F. Haughwout, Senior Vice President and Policy Leader for Household and Regional in the Federal Reserve Bank of New York’s Research and Statistics Group; Annie Linskey, White House Reporter for the Washington Post; and Torsten Slok, Chief Economist for Apollo Global Group. 

Moderated by William Glasgall, Volcker Alliance Senior Vice President and Director of State and Local Initiatives, and Susan Wachter, Co-Director of Penn IUR, this briefing is the twenty-fourth in a series of sixty-minute online conversations featuring experts from the Volcker Alliance’s national research network and Penn IUR, along with other leading academics, economists, and federal, state, and local leaders.

Special Briefings are made possible by funding from The Century Foundation, the Volcker Alliance, and members of the Penn IUR Advisory Board.

Recordings of the entire Special Briefings series are available on the Volcker Alliance website: SPECIAL BRIEFING SERIES ARCHIVE


Carolyn Coleman brings over twenty-five years of experience as a leader and an advocate in the public and private sectors to her role as executive director and CEO of the League of California Cities, the largest and oldest organization representing California’s cities and towns and their leaders. Under her leadership, Cal Cities advances policies to expand local control through education and advocacy to enhance the quality of life for all Californians.

She joined Cal Cities in December 2016 after a decade with the National League of Cities (NLC) in Washington, D.C., as senior executive and director of federal advocacy. During her tenure at NLC, she oversaw the organization’s advocacy efforts and worked closely with city leaders from across the country and the forty-nine state municipal leagues to protect and promote local interests in matters before Congress, within the White House, and in the courts.

Prior to NLC, Coleman served as deputy mayor for the city of Indianapolis, Indiana, where she led the mayor’s initiatives involving public works, economic and community development, parks and recreation, and neighborhood services. She previously practiced law and held marketing leadership positions in the private sector. In addition to her professional endeavors, Coleman serves on the board of trustees of the University of Indianapolis and on the dean’s cabinet at the McGeorge School of Law. She also serves on the NLC and the California Foundation on the Environment and the Economy boards of directors, as well as the Public Policy Institute of California’s Statewide Leadership Council.

She holds a law degree from Indiana University and a degree in business administration from the University of Kansas.


Andy Haughwout is a Senior Vice President and Policy Leader for Household and Regional in the Research and Statistics Group. He is a co-editor of the Liberty Street Economics blog and a coeditor of the Bank's Economic Policy Review. In addition to his duties at the Bank, he is a Penn Institute for Urban Research Scholar and serves on the Advisory Board of the Journal of Regional Science. He is a past Chair of the North American Regional Science Council and the Federal Reserve System Committee on Regional Analysis. Prior to joining the New York Fed, Mr. Haughwout served as Assistant Professor and Director of the Urban and Regional Planning program at Princeton University. He holds a BA from Swarthmore College and a PhD from the University of Pennsylvania.


Annie Linskey is a Washington Post White House reporter. She covered Democrats in the 2020 presidential campaign as a national political reporter for the Post. Before coming to the Post, Linskey was the lead reporter on Democrats for the Boston Globe's Washington bureau during the 2016 campaign. She reported on the Obama White House for Bloomberg News and BusinessWeek. She also spent a year in Boston covering New England politics for Bloomberg News. Linskey's first nine years in journalism were spent at the Baltimore Sun, where she covered crime, City Hall and the Maryland State House. She also briefly wrote a sailing column for the paper. Linskey grew up in Connecticut and holds a bachelor's degree in political science from Wellesley College.


Torsten Slok is chief economist at Apollo Global Management’s executive office in New York. Prior to joining the firm in August 2020, he worked for 15 years on the sell-side, where his team was top-ranked by Institutional Investor in fixed income and equities for ten years, including No. 1 in 2019. Previously he worked at the OECD in Paris, in the Money and Finance Division and the Structural Policy Analysis Division. Before joining the OECD he worked for four years at the IMF in the division responsible for writing the World Economic Outlook and the division responsible for China, Hong Kong, and Mongolia.

Torsten studied at University of Copenhagen and Princeton University. He frequently appears in the media (CNBC, Bloomberg, WSJ, NYT, FT), and has published numerous journal articles and reviews on economics and policy analysis, including in the Journal of International Economics, Journal of International Money and Finance, and The Econometric Journal.