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Catherine  Rampell

Catherine Rampell

Opinion Columnist at The Washington Post


One of America’s youngest nationally syndicated columnists, The Washington Post’s Catherine Rampell takes a straight-on, data-driven approach to the most intriguing areas of economics, public policy, politics and culture. Her twice-a-week takes on everything from what’s happening in the White House to debunking myths about millennials have made her a rising media star in print, radio and TV. In addition to her columns for The Post, Rampell is a political and economic commentator for CNN and a special correspondent for PBS NewsHour. Rampell’s keynotes combine sharp analysis, high level humor and insightful observations punctuated by cold facts and unbiased data. Known for addressing mixed audiences that can be at polar ends of the political spectrum, Catherine Rampell deploys data and logic to spark dialog and highlight common ground. Read More >

Before joining The Post, Catherine Rampell worked as an economics reporter and editor for the New York Times and guest columnist for the Sunday Magazine’s “It’s the Economy” column. She also launched, edited and produced the award-winning Economix blog.  Rampell is a regular guest on Marketplace’s “Weekly Wrap,” and has appeared on shows on MSNBC, CNN, Fox News, MTV, PBS, NPR, CNBC, CBS News, ABC News, C-Span, and the BBC, among others. Honored by her peers, Rampell is the recipient of the Weidenbaum Center Award for Evidence-Based Journalism and The Society of American Business Editors and Writers blog award and is a four-time Gerald Loeb Award finalist. She is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Princeton University, where she worked as a research assistant to economist Alan Krueger.

A polished speaker and authoritative journalist on economics and public policy, Catherine Rampell has also frequently appeared as both a panelist and moderator for events hosted by organizations such as the Aspen Institute, Brookings Institution, American Enterprise Institute and the New America Foundation. Her talent for unpacking a breadth of subjects and data-driven approach have impressed a range of audiences from colleges and education groups to think tanks and business associations. Read Less ^

Speaker Videos

Myths on Higher Education

Why Millennials Are Missing Major Life Milestones

Millennials and the Recession

On the Trump Administration: Wiretapping Accusations and Healthcare

On the Trump Administration: The First 100 Days

Speech Topics

Business & Economic Outlook: What to Expect from the Trump/Congress

Separating fact from opinion, Catherine Rampell’s data-driven presentation looks at how the President and GOP Congress are shaping economic and business policy and what those policies will mean for growth. Read More >

Analyzing today’s economic headlines through the lens of trends and economic data, she looks at the largest issues facing the country, including: Read Less ^

  • The consequences of tax reform
  • Trade wars/the impact of tariffs
  • Politics and the debt ceiling
  • Impact of foreign aid cuts
  • The social cost of Trumponomics

Women in the Workforce: What the Research Says

Paid parental leave is only the tip of the iceberg. Data clearly shows what it takes to keep women attached to the workforce and moving up the career ladder. Catherine Rampell takes a data-driven look at public policies affecting women in the workforce. Read More >

She analyzes: Read Less ^

  • Which public policies work, don’t work, and why.
  • S. public policies vs. the rest of the world.
  • What women should be advocating for now.

Why Millennials Are Falling Behind

From marriage and home ownership to having children, America’s young adults have gotten a lot of flak for missing many of the milestones that earlier generations checked off with ease. A third of millennials still live with their parents. Marriage rates have plummeted. Read More >

Home ownership rates are at a record low. Do these American-dream-style signposts still retain a strong hold over young people’s desires and aspirations? Millennial journalist Catherine Rampell examines the economics and demographics of millennials and where they’re heading, including: Read Less ^

  • The impact of the recession on millennial expectations.
  • Have we abandoned “ownership society” dreams for a more attainable “sharing economy”?
  • Perception vs. reality: what the research says about millennials.

When Facts Cease to Matter, How Can Democracy Survive?

“Fake news” and “alternative facts” aren’t just a challenge for the media. They’re a threat to our democratic process itself. Catherine Rampell looks at the data to examine the impact of “fake news” in the fast-moving world of social media, 24-7 news and 140-character presidential pronouncements. Read More >

Rampell examines: Read Less ^

  • The political, social, economic consequences of having Americans siloed into different realities/perceptions of the world, thanks to their highly divergent news diets.
  • How did it become so lucrative to spread "fake news" on the internet?
  • Current public perceptions of traditionally-trusted sources.
  • The increase of crazy conspiracy theories on both the right and left.
  • The history of public officials trying to discredit traditional sources of facts and news.
  • Is the Trump administration driving people to alternative news/data sources?

Will Millennials Save the West?

In Europe and the U.S., young people—or at least a large swath of them—appear to be growing more left-wing. Are they? On both ends of the political spectrum, this is the most radical generation ever recorded by the World Values Survey, notably cynical about the worth of democracy and distrusting of their political institutions. Read More >

Catherine Rampell examines her own generation, covering: Read Less ^

  • The recent “youthquakes” in the U.K. and French elections and the impact of American millennials on the 2016 election.
  • The appeal of anti-establishment, barn-burning populism and leaders such as Bernie Sanders and Jeremy Corbyn.
  • Is Trump waging a war on millennials?
  • How will millennial political values shape the future of democracy around the world?

Why Should College Students Let Their Enemies Speak? Naked Self-Interest.

College students are more politically polarized today than they have been in more than four decades. Citing recent events of banning or protesting controversial speech on American college campuses, Rampell makes a case for a more forceful protection of all forms of free speech, especially by liberal institutions. Read More >

She covers: Read Less ^

  • The growing ideological divide amongst college students—what the data means.
  • How silencing objectionable ideas dulls our ability to convincingly rebut them.
  • When censorship backfires and draws attention and sympathy toward opponents.
  • The increased use of censorship tools (trigger warnings, safe spaces, etc.) by conservatives.

Will Healthcare Reform Ever Happen? And What Would It Look Like?

“Repeal and Replace.” The American Health Care Act. Graham-Cassidy. Single Payer. Addressing the ever-moving target of health care reform with non-partisan numbers, statistics  and revealing public opinion polls, Catherine Rampell looks at America’s choices with her signature data-driven analysis. Rampell separates political spin from the real-life impact on vulnerable Americans, examines the evolution of efforts to end  Obamacare, and questions whether, in the long run,  significant change will ever muster widespread support.