David Socolow

Middle-aged man with short dark hair, smiling, wearing a dark blazer and white shirt, against a blue background.

Head of Policy, Social Finance Institute


  • The Social Finance Institute

Workforce & Economic Mobility, Education, Homelessness & Housing

David is Head of Policy for the Social Finance Institute, a unique field-building platform launched in 2023 within Social Finance. In this newly created role, David leads initiatives to guide the policy and research agenda for the Institute, including working with policymakers, researchers, and cohort-based communities of practice to build knowledge about outcomes-based policies and practices that expand social and economic mobility. 
Prior to joining Social Finance, David worked to advance the success of students and workers over nearly three decades in federal and state government and the private sector. Most recently, David served for six years as the Executive Director of the New Jersey Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, where he championed and implemented initiatives to create the state’s first-ever tuition-free college program, lower students’ net costs of pursuing high-quality postsecondary education and training, build career pathways for low-income jobseekers, and offer new financing options to meet workforce needs. 
David previously served as Commissioner of the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, Director of the state’s Unemployment Insurance program, Senior Advisor to the Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor, and Chief of Staff for U.S. Rep. Robert Andrews. He also worked as Vice President for Corporate Affairs at Pinnacle Foods, Inc., and as the Director of CLASP’s Center for Postsecondary and Economic Success. 
David graduated from Harvard College and earned a master’s degree in public administration from Rutgers University.