Richard Reeves

Speech Topics

In Dream Hoarders (an Economist and Guardian Book of the Year), Richard Reeves argues that there is a widening gap in American society is between the upper middle class (broadly the top fifth by income) and everyone else. As Reeves shows, the growing separation between the upper middle class and everyone else can also be seen in family structure, neighborhoods, attitudes, and lifestyle. As he writes “The American Dream is being hoarded by those of us in the upper middle class. The question is: Will we share it?” Reeves sets out an ambitious agenda for individuals, companies, communities, and the nation to restore the American Dream.



“Opportunity lives or dies in America’s communities”. That is the bold claim of Richard Reeves. Marshalling powerful research showing huge gaps in upward economic mobility between different communities, he shows how local players – business, non-profits, foundations, government – can act to boost, or to block, opportunities.

A traditional MBA is for either the time-rich, very wealthy or lucky few. So what do you do if you want to get a hit of high-quality business inspiration without spending two years back at school? Along with his friend and former business partner John Knell, Richard created the “80 Minute MBA”, providing a super-condensed guide to business brilliance.

Free speech is a hot topic in classroom, boardrooms, chatrooms and on the street. Both sides point to rights that must be protected; both sides point to harms that will be suffered if the other side gets its way. Reeves channels the life and works of John Stuart Mill, the English philosopher, politician, and activist, to bring a modern light on why it matters that we speak our minds. From the #MeToo movement to the dilemmas facing Google to Facebook to college campuses to street protests, Reeves makes the modern, case for free speech in the service of inclusion in our organizations.


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Richard Reeves is a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, where he co-directs the Center on Children and Families. His research focuses on social mobility, inequality, and masculinity.

A former European Business Speaker of the Year, Richard speaks on a range of issues including economic inequality, the future of the American Dream, and men and masculinity. In September 2017, Politico magazine named Richard one of the top 50 thinkers in the U.S. for his work on class and inequality.

Richard writes for a wide range of publications, including the Atlantic, National Affairs, Democracy Journal, the Wall Street Journal, and the New York Times. He is the author of Dream Hoarders (Brookings Press, 2017), and John Stuart Mill – Victorian Firebrand, an intellectual biography of the British liberal philosopher and politician.

A Brit-American, Richard was director of strategy to the UK’s Deputy Prime Minister from 2010 to 2012. Other previous roles include director of Demos, the London-based political think-tank; social affairs editor of the Observer; principal policy adviser to the Minister for Welfare Reform, and research fellow at the Institute for Public Policy Research. He is also a former European Business Speaker of the Year. Richard has a BA from Oxford University and a PhD from Warwick University.

He is a member of the Government of Canada’s Ministerial Advisory Committee on Poverty, and also teaches at the McCourt School of Public Policy at Georgetown University.

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