Sandra Polaski

Senior Fellow

Sandra Polaski is an independent export on labor, social and economic policy.  She was the Deputy Director-General for Policy of the International Labour Organization (ILO) from 2012-2016.  In that capacity she provided leadership to the ILO staff and departments responsible for research, statistics, policy analysis and policy advice for the ILO’s 185 Member States.

Prior to joining the ILO, Ms. Polaski served as U.S. Deputy Undersecretary of Labor in charge of the International Labor Affairs Bureau (ILAB), where she led bilateral and regional policy dialogues with other governments and was responsible for labour issues in the context of trade and trade agreements. Earlier she directed a research and policy program focusing on development, trade and income distribution at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, a global think tank.

She is the author of numerous reports, book chapters, policy briefs and blogs covering issues of employment, inequality, labour rights, social policy, trade policy and development.  A sample of her publications can be found on ResearchGate.

She has testified before committees on foreign affairs, trade, employment and finance of the U.S. Senate, U.S. House of Representatives, European Parliament and Canadian Senate and spoken in a wide variety of multilateral fora.

She was educated at the Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies (SAIS) and the University of Wisconsin and was awarded an honorary doctorate by Middlesex University, London.

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Additional information

Areas of expertise
Sustainable Finance
Governance and Multilateral Agreements
Employment and Social Policy
Free Trade (North America)
Human Rights
Income Distribution
International Negotiations
Staff type
Senior Fellows
Master of Arts, Johns Hopkins School for Advanced International Studies
Master of Arts, University of Wisconsin
Bachelor of Arts, University of Dayton
Languages spoken